Stuck? Start Satisficing

Stuckism (so-many-choices-that-one-can’t-make-a-decision-easily) strikes us more and more often it seems. Sometimes stuckism is about relatively unimportant things. See this movie or that? Eat Chinese or Mexican or Ethiopian? (I mean food, you Lecters).  Other times, like one I’m experiencing now – to put my home on the market or keep leasing – feel bigger and more important and potentially more costly if I get it wrong. If you’ve ever been around little kids (I sure hope you have), you’ve witnessed what happens when you give them too many choices. You can almost see their minds spinning, the overwhelming nature of mushrooming possibilities, the frenzy created when faced with decision-making that involves what feels like limitless options. Because we’re living in a world where choices – advertisements and internet-fueled information – charge our way daily, taking the time to research every conceivable option is beyond stressful. It’s impossible. “Satisficing” makes perfect sense. Satisficing = picking the first option that meets an acceptability threshold. Economist Herbert Simon’s satisficing theory is based on the fact that we can never know enough to select the actual … [Read more...]

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