Decision-Making

A crucial part of our lives, decision-making has been taught since we were of the age of crayons and building blocks. Even still, it seems that we fail to master the process. No matter how well we have the information down, emotion gets in the way of our logic, and we either tumble down or end up on the higher end of things. You hear it all the time: the decisions you make now will affect your future. I, myself, believe the same. I believe that, although things can change on the drop of a dime, the decisions we make, the people we are around, among other factors will manipulate our futures – not coincidentally.

You won't always make the right choices, but it's important to learn from those mistakes. (photo by @boetter)

You won’t always make the right choices, but it’s important to learn from those mistakes. (photo by @boetter)

According to Big Think, in the article Decisions Are Emotional, not Logical: The Neuroscience behind Decision Making, the point of decision making has to be emotional, considering the basis of choice and choosing is based on emotion. This is why though someone can argue with you for hours on end, you won’t budge. Your heart does not intake or wish to process the information at hand. The article then goes on to suggest that you can not tell or make your opponent believe what you believe. That in itself is counter-productive. Instead, help them to reveal what they believe. Help them to make decisions. Yes, logic must be at least present but when it comes down to it, decisions are, as plainly put, emotional.

Of course, as I just stated, logic must be present. For you logistic thinkers out there, ScienceDirect has produced an article on a standard model for decision making for college-aged students. The article is from 1971, but still so pertinent, because even as times change, our emotions and filters remain the same. They just have different features and adapt to different things. At the core of it, we are still emotional people.

What we are essentially talking about here is behavior modification – ultimately, creating a habitual routine of society’s “improved” behavior so that we become more socially acceptable. ScienceDirect also has an article on something called “the Mere-Measurement effect.” Accordingly, the Mere-Measurement effect changes behavior by implying that positive change has in fact, occurred and will continue to occur. However, there are still many studies being done on the subject so that is all of what I can comprehend as of current.

Needless to say, decision-making is a great skill we all should have – especially for educational purposes. Decision making allows us to err away from the crippling occurrences like procrastination. Decision-making allows us steer ourselves away from things that could potentially hurt us, and decision making also allows us to steer to things that will hurt us. I suppose that the best thing one can do is simply learn from their decisions, and essentially become a better “decision maker.”

No one can make your choices for you but you. No one can tell you to go to school, no one can tell you to go for a run. These are things that are intrinsic motivators, even though they may have external rewards.

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