Interesting Article About Decision Making

Decision Time. This article published on the BBC News site today is pretty interesting. It is about emotion vs rationality in decision making.

Things that especially resonate with me are:

As Kahneman and Tversky put it: “In human decision-making, losses loom larger than gains.”

Loss aversion is now recognised as an important mental bias, with widespread implications. Our desire to avoid anything that smacks of a loss often shapes our behaviour, leading us to do foolish things.

As a person who has experienced rather acute loss in my life, loss aversion is something that influences and controls my life to a large extent. For example procrastination. Lots of people dismiss procrastination with a simplistic ‘you are lazy’, however to me, procrastination is an effect of trying to limit the feeling of loss.

I also like this:

So how should we make a decision? The key is something called metacognition, or thinking about thinking.

As it hails back to what Eckhart Tolle writes about in The Power of Now. He explains how one can observe the brain when it is filled with emotion or reacting emotionally. Like for example, if you are feeling badly you could either wallow in the feeling (which will prolong the feeling and probably augment it, too) or look at the feeling and see what kind of thinking created it and is perpetuating it. It lets you understand the feeling more fully than if you were just feeling the feeling.

I really like coming across articles (especially on big respected websites!) that connect with other things that I am currently reading or thinking about.

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