3.03.2006

TIP: When the decision gets tough - sleep on it

via NYTimes - Snap judgments about people and places can be remarkably accurate, and there is no substitute for simple logic and reflection in determining questions like which alarm clock or cellphone is the best value.

But many more important decisions - choosing the right apartment, the optimal house, the best vacation - turn on such a bewildering swarm of facts that people often throw up their hands and put the whole thing temporarily out of mind. And new research suggests that this may be a rewarding strategy.

In a series of experiments reported last week in the journal Science, a team of Dutch psychologists found that people struggling to make complex decisions did best when they were distracted and were not able to think consciously about the choice at all.

The research not only backs up the common advice to "sleep on it" when facing difficult choices, but it also suggests that the unconscious brain can actively reason as well as produce weird dreams and Freudian slips... Psychologists have known for years that people process an enormous amount of information unconsciously - for example, when they hear their names pop up in a conversation across the room that they were not consciously listening to. But the new report suggests that people take this wealth of under-the-radar information, combine it with deliberately studied facts and impressions and then make astute judgments that they would not otherwise form.

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got > Strength vs Weakness

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