I have always wondered why we, humans, continually make bad decisions. That question has always run through my head when I see something in the news or read a paper about someone screwing up badly. It intrigues me even further when I am the one at fault. Often times I feel stupid and question my own reasons for why I did something stupid. For me, it usually comes down to not thinking things all the way through.

What really intrigues me is the question of whether or not some people are hardwired to make bad decisions. Is it in some people’s brain chemistry to make poor decisions, or is based more on the circumstances of the individual (nature vs. nurture)? Furthermore, how does one stop making poorly thought out decisions?

After further research, I found that stress is the biggest factor in poor decisions. It is easy for our brains remember times where we heavily regret a decision, so we are highly motivated to not make a regrettable decision. This causes a lot of stress, which impairs our decision making ability. Also, most people seek an immediate gratification for actions. It is much easier to do something that instantaneously produces a result rather than waiting for one to happen. A prime example of this noticing why it is so hard to lose weight. The instant gratification of eating a lot is easier to obtain than slimming down and seeing results in months. That research further stated that having a lack of information will inevitably cause a poor decision. This was further backed up by an article in Forbes, which said especially in a situation where you are with a team, good communication is necessary. When not everyone is fully informed, bad decisions are made.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Why Do People Make Bad Decisions? by Anthony is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. PJ 3 months ago

    Anthony, I did a post on stress not too long ago so I can understand your perspective on this topic. you say not thinking is a factor to why you make a bad decision but why don’t you think, is there a scientific reason or emotional, what is it? when I talked about stress i mentioned stress of failing so I totally agree with your comment on taking shortcuts. people want to succeed so bad they’ll do whatever it takes to get it. this link(https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201107/how-deal-best-failure-and-stress) should help you look into that. you also mentioned nature v. nurture so my question is this need to succeed taught or instinctive? can’t wait to hear back.

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