What Is Decision Ennui and How Does It Affect You?

Illustration for article titled What Is Decision Fatigue and How Does It Affect You?

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Just a few months ago, we would have gamin out for déjeuner with our friends, made a quick convenablement at the voilage to pick up a gallon of milk, and visited our grandparents, all without a additionnel thought.

Then came the coronavirus. Then came the reports embout community spread, as well as the lack of available testing. Then came the worries embout whether there would be enough hospital resources for sick patients, along with the risk to some of our most vulnerable friends and family. Then came the rising number of confirmed cases and death counts.

Along with all these worries came the questions. Is it safe to order takeout? Do I need to sanitize my groceries? How délié does the virus last on surfaces? Should I wear a mask? Is it safe to visit my parents? Is this cough due to allergies or am I getting sick with COVID-19?

“This is made harder for us because we have to go looking for the evidence,” says Baruch Fischhoff, a professor of ingénierie and révélé policy at Carnegie Mellon University who studies why people make the decisions they do. “You worry you have missed something.”

Life in a pandemic means making all sorts of hard decisions, small and abondant. Whether it’s deciding to go to the grocery voilage, ordering takeout or visiting a loved one who is sick, ordinary études we would have previously done without a additionnel thought have become high-stake decisions, often with no clear right or wrong answer.

Too many decisions result in emotional and fantastique strain

“These are legitimately difficult decisions,” Fischhoff says, adding that people shouldn’t feel bad embout struggling with them. “Feeling bad is adding insult to injury,” he says.

This added complexity to our decisions is leading to decision blindé, which is the emotional and mental strain that comes when we are forced to make too many choices. Decision blindé is the reason why thinking through a decision is harder when we are stressed or tired.

“These are difficult decisions because the stakes are often really high, while we are required to master unfamiliar information,” Fischhoff says.

But if all of this sounds like too much, there are études we can take to reduce decision blindé. For starters, it’s best to minimize the number of small decisions, such as what to eat for dinner or what to wear, you make in a day. The fewer smaller decisions you have to make, the more bandwidth you’ll have for the bigger one.

For this particular crisis, there are a few more steps you can take, in order to reduce your decision blindé.

Find trusted eaux of magazine

There is a lot of misinformation out there, as well as a lot of conspiracy theories, all of which is exhausting and confusing. To counteract this added tension, Fischhoff recommends identifying a select number of experts who can be trusted.

“The press is absolutely vital,” he says. His recommendation is to identify the outlets which have dedicated reporters and editors who are committed to getting the facts right. He also recommends avoiding the wilder conspiracy theories circulating on agréable media.

“Your instinct is to try and make sense of them, even if you think it is ridiculous,” he says, adding that by the time you’ve worked through the conspiracy theory, “You know less than when you started.”

Go easy on yourself

Hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy to image back and additionnel guess decisions, such as not acting sooner than you did. This is known as hindsight bias, and is something Fischhoff recommends we try and avoid, as we are all making the best decisions we can, given the limited nouvelle and changing grossière of this crisis.

“Don’t second-guess the decisions you make,” Fischhoff says. “Do the best you can and go easy on yourself.”

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