Thursday, February 28, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

Someone (I don't know who) e-mailed me a link to this article in the New York Times about how people make decisions when those decisions affect future options. Essentially, people are loath to lose their options even when they can gain a clear good. This is more proof that how you frame a decision has a lot to do with the quality of the answer.

This also explains why people often have trouble letting go of opportunities, even when they know they can get a superior outcome by doing so...
“Closing a door on an option is experienced as a loss, and people are willing to pay a price to avoid the emotion of loss,” Dr. Ariely says. In the experiment, the price was easy to measure in lost cash. In life, the costs are less obvious — wasted time, missed opportunities. If you are afraid to drop any project at the office, you pay for it at home. (source)


1 comment:

Felicity Pickup said...

Fascinating. Didn't know that it's human nature, and not just a personal weakness in decision-making!