Decision Making: More Options Can Actually be Less Helpful

When my computer is acting responsively slow or strange I’ll immediate delete applications and programs working in the background. With too much information running at once it makes it difficult for the computer to run smoothly.  The computer will run far more efficiently if the user does one task at a time. This is how I view the brain. The culprit most responsible for insomnia is the mind. It happens when people can’t make their own minds stop working. “What is it that I have to do tomorrow?” “I forgot to do that thing at work.” “Isn’t someone’s birthday coming up soon? Now I have to spend money on a gift.” All these thoughts clog the mind and make it difficult to slowly shut down and rest. This can also apply to when people are faced with too many decisions to process. When a computer has too many programs, downloads and errors running at once it can cause a computer to crash.

According to the article “I Can’t Think”, by Sharon Begley, when people are faced with too many options it can lead to bad decision-making and irrational behavior.  This is called the “Paradox of choice” where more options aren’t necessarily a good thing. The choices made after facing too many decisions can start to make less and less sense.  Personally when I go to the store and I’m looking for a product I haven’t bought before I’ll get frustrated if I can’t find it. I’ll feel annoyed because I’ve been standing in an aisle for more than ten minutes staring at the same six shelves with products that all look very similar. So I’ll just grab the next best thing to what I was looking for only to go home and regret my decision. The part of the brain that is responsible for decision-making is also responsible for emotions. Due to that fact, it’s not hard to believe that making a decision with too many options can be so overwhelming.

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