Analysis Paralysis- Reasons Why Making Decisions Can Be Hard, and How Indecisiveness Can Impact You

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 11, 2020

In an age where almost everybody has unlimited access to the infinite well of quality information known as the internet, making decisions should be relatively easier than before. But it is not. It’s even much harder, if anything, nowadays.

Just think about it. A swift Google search will net you hundreds or even thousands of results of any imaginable subject. It’s like opening a can of worms. You end spending a lot of time down an internet rabbit hole but leave the sites feeling more disoriented than ever.

Rather than enabling you to make better decisions, limitless access to information frequently results in substantial fear of making the wrong choices. So, you end up trapped in an apparently inescapable
Instead of allowing us to make better decisions, our virtually unlimited access to information often results in greater fear of making the wrong choice. So, we end up trapped in a seemingly inescapable cycle of analysis paralysis or indecision.

Challenges of Decision Making

Regardless of what you do for a living or who you are, you make hundreds of minor decisions daily.

Most are relatively insignificant; for instance, what do you need for breakfast? Do you want tea or coffee, or something else, or What will you have for dinner?

Other decisions we make are much more elaborate. Should you go to a different state or city? Should you start a family? Should you buy a house? These decisions can weigh more heavily as they can influence your life in several ways.

You may feel like you are not good at making decisions (or bad at making good ones). Nonetheless, it is something we all wrestle with due to how our brains are wired.

Behind each decision we make, some psychological factors frame the way we act and think. Understanding these elements make them simple to overcome. What Makes Decision Making Hard

Status quo bias

Many blunders in decision making can be attributed to cognitive bias. This is our inclination to believe a certain way without even knowing it. For example, have you ever kept away from changing your internet providers, though you were dissatisfied with your present service.

The status quo may be to blame. It’s your likelihood to stick with what you know, rather than choosing something different and new. You see the substitute as a risk or not worth the hassle, even if it could be a bit better. You become exceedingly resistant to change without even knowing it.

Anchoring bias

Focalism or anchoring bias is a cognitive bias where a person relies too heavily on the first piece of information given (regarded as the anchor) to make ensuing judgments during decision making. Anchoring bias affects the choices you make significantly. To better understand how it works, assume you are busy shopping for a used vehicle at a neighborhood dealership. The model you prefer is priced at $ 10,000.

Assume the dealer gives you a discount. The car is now selling at $ 9,000, a whole thousand dollars less. It feels like I can’t miss a chance. Not definitely.

Anchoring shows that we depend too heavily on the initial things we hear (in our case, the car’s first price). That is what makes that discount very attractive, but should not be the determining factor. There are unprejudiced things to consider, such as the car’s real value and whether you can get a better price elsewhere. If you are not keen, the anchoring impact can heavily weigh you down.

Choice overload

Stress can impact your decision making- both the capability to make them and your decisions’ quality. Picture this. Two Researchers have set up two big displays giving free jam samples in a high-end food market.

One offered customers five different flavors to select from, while the other one gave them twenty-five. The bigger display will fascinate many people, but they will be five times more likely to purchase any jam jar than those who popped in the smaller display. The main reason for this occurrence is referred to as choice overload.

Choice overload occurs when you feel overwhelmed by the absolute number of choices. You have a hard time comparing them that you are less likely to select anything at all. Like in the jam example, you would rather walk away empty-handed than handle the stress of selecting anything from such a huge selection.

Decision fatigue

If you are forced to make many decisions simultaneously, you can suffer from something psychologists call decision fatigue.

Decision fatigue insinuates that making multiple decisions over an extended period of time can significantly drain your willpower. You experience such a difficult time saying no to staff, such as impulse buying, junk food, drinking beer, and many other tempting offers. On the other hand, decision fatigue can make you find it hard to say yes, particularly to a decision that would unsettle the status quo.

How Failing to Make Decision Impact You

It Strains Your Mental Resources

Your willpower is minimal. Each time you make an easy decision, even as simple as choosing what tie to put on to a certain meeting) your brain spends priceless mental resources.

If you spend several hours racking over those same decisions, these resources dry up much faster, making you feel mentally worn out.

Besides, overthinking depletes your willpower, so making decisions becomes very challenging.

Result in unhappiness

When talking about decision making, people are divided into “maximizers,” and “satisficers.” Satisficers prioritize sufficient solutions over the perfect one- they make decisions depending on whether their needs are fulfilled. They are simply satisfied with any brand of shampoo that has the qualities they are searching for.

On the other hand, maximizers are aching to make a perfect choice passible. They can’t rest until they have scrutinized every option possible and looked at every substitute.

Maximizers are often ended up unhappy with their choices. They are always depressed, dissatisfied, and express self-doubt. - they are never happy with their decisions.

Making decisions can be challenging because weighing your options takes energy and time. Being indecisive and second-guessing yourself are parts of the big process.

They are a good thing in some ways as they show you are considering your options instead of moving with the flow, and that’s a critical step to making informed decisions. Always decide as you can never make progress without making a decision.

2020 © Zenbo Services Ltd. All rights reserved.