Decision-making is all about analyzing facts and considering all possible alternatives before making a choice. Hence, decision-making in its essence is a cold, calculated, and scientific endeavor devoid of guesswork and emotions.
And while all of us make random decisions (like what to order for lunch), no one likes to think that when it comes to the ‘real’ issues in life (dating, career, education etc.), all they are making are arbitrary decisions which involve anything but analytical thinking.
The following is a list some of the major factors that influence your decision-making without you even realizing it. Read on!
Where’s the Loo?
Here’s a real story. Nobel Laureate Mirjam Tuk divided volunteers for her experiment into two groups. One group drank 5 full cups of water, while the other took sips from 5 different cups. After waiting for some time (till people feel the need to pee after drinking water), the participants were offered 2 financial rewards:
- $16, which they can receive within 24 hours
- $30, which they will receive after a month
The group that needed to go opted for the $30 reward. Moral of the story: if you really want to pee, you will make good decisions, especially financial ones!
So much for the left brain/right brain charade.
Spoilt for Choices
The idiom ‘being spoilt for choices’ is more accurate than you might have assumed. In the outset, we noted how in the perfect world, decision making involves getting all facts on the table to be scrutinized before one option is selected. However, in the real world, even if we had all facts regarding a particular situation or object, we will actually make poorer decisions!
Yes, it’s true. When the number of options increases, we find it hard to make a decision, and when that decision is made, we are not particularly happy with it. On the other hand, if the options are limited, we feel satisfied with our selections.
‘Justice for All’ (because I want to go home)
You may have the best of intentions in the world, but if you didn’t sleep well last, missed your breakfast, or had a tough day at work, you are bound to make a random decision no matter how serious the situation is.
4 years ago, a study proved this very phenomenon in a context where decisions determine life/death situations: the Judiciary.
It was seen that as the day progresses, judges are not as proficient in hearing appeals as they are in the morning. This is serious stuff, and it’s all true.
Of course, juries don’t suffer from decision-fatigue. They have better criteria for serving justice.
It’s All About the Gut
We can go on and on with theories, studies, and examples, but the point has been made. In the real world, we have limited information, limited time, and limited cognition, which is why we make random decisions more than we would like to admit.
But that is not a cause to worry. There is some scientific evidence to suggest that the best decisions are those that are made in the heat of the moment.
So in the randomness of universe, your gut may after all be the guiding light. But there are always ways in which you can improve your random decision-making powers.
On this website, you will get the best apps, tools, and techniques for making decisions in situations where little or no information is available. Join us today!