Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Think less and be happy!

From this week in Science:
Dijksterhuis et al. (p. 1005; see the news story by Miller) show that deliberate thinking about simple decisions (such as buy-ing a shampoo) does yield choices that are judged to be more satisfying than those made with little thought, as expected. However, as the decisions become complex (more expensive items with many characteristics, such as cars), better decisions and happier ones come from not attending to the choices but allowing one's unconscious to sift through the many permutations for the optimal combination.
This reminded me of my student years. After each exam, I would think back of how I did. The more mistakes I could recall, the worse I felt about that exam, and the better the grade turned out to be.

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