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How to Make Decisions Better

"Let's think about two different kinds of aspects of making decisions. So the first is, let's imagine I've got a decision that's hard because it requires a trade-off. Example: You're trying to move to a new apartment, and one of the apartments is really big, the other is kind of small, but it's close to where you work, and the one that's big is far from where you work. So you've got to base your decision of the size of the apartment and the commute." 

Ordinarily, we find those kinds of situations really difficult. And often we'll actually push off the decision because we don't want to deal with it. Or maybe we'll try to find an apartment that's in the middle somewhere. 

What the new research suggests is that if we are not fully invested in a choice, we will not make the best choice. A lot of times people will go and pick the compromised choice, rather than thinking, "Do I need this?" When you make choices dispassionately, then you will not pick the best option for you. When you are truly engaged between both choices, you will think more carefully about the situation, and make a better choice." 

- Dr. Art Markman

Listen to the rest of the podcast at:

Matt talks with Dr. Art Markman, an Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Markman joins the show today to talk about how conflicting goals can make you a better decision maker.

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