The observable examined

decision fatigue

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One of my favorite topics in all of behavioral sciences is judgment and decision making. The pioneering scientists, who made the fundamental discoveries, and had the best insights into this aspect of human behavior, are  Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. Be sure to look them up for really interesting research.

I have setup alerts on NYTimes for articles related to the brain. I received this one today on Decision Fatigue. I thought I would give it a dekko and retire to bed. But it proved to be a great article so here I am sharing it with you folks. The essence is that willpower to exercise self-control is a finite quantity and depletes throughout the day as you make various decisions (the process is termed ego depletion). A little dose of glucose (sugar) can somewhat replenish it. Real-world decisions , from granting parole to deciding wedding registry items, seem to be systematically affected by ego depletion. Supermarkets exploit this by placing candy right at the check out. Very interesting read. Check it out for sure.

The upshot seems to be that the best times for key decisions are early in the day or after a good rest.


Written by asterix98

August 22, 2011 at 6:53 am

Posted in decision making

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