Friday, November 2, 2012
Too many choices
Decision making is more difficult than ever. The problem today is that there is too much information, too many choices and too many options, many and almost a geometrical number more than just a decade or two ago.
Emotions are essential in the decision making process. A psychologist at Harvard says that we are not making “rational decisions” since we are mostly impacted by the physiological and psychological impact of our bodies. Subjects that are sad will pay ore money for something than those who are happy. If you are angry you are more likely to make mistake or a risky decision at the office or later in the day. Happiness works the same as anger, undermining certainty and control. Happy or angry people are likely to forget seat belts, use bike helmets, lock their cars or buy insurance.
Sadness, depression lead to spending money, doing things on the spur of the moment, and then regretting even good decisions.
Columbia University is looking at quantity for choice. The more choices that are out there, the less likely we are to make the correct decision. People get sensory overwhelmed by too many choices. More choices make actual choices less likely. Retailers are reducing choices and increasing sales by selling only what people “want”, meaning what most people buy. Small boutiques sell a higher per square foot than department stores, excluding high discount stores, because there are few choices and because there are sales people who help guide you, and therefore mean you have fewer decisions to make on your own.
For diets, avoid buffets and eat off smaller plates. It works. By reducing choice and quantity you will lose weight.
The biggest problem in a recession is how to spend money, otherwise known as budgeting. There are too many choices to make and perceived needs for the funds available. Psychologists say that in our society it is almost impossible to return to the level of satisfaction we had when less was more. But some social, religious or philosophical groups do. Therefore the best way to control decision making the correct decisions could be to do it in groups, as long as your temper does not flare up and you spend money based on anger!