How Do You Make a Smart Decision About Something Deeply Personal? A Look At the Science

June 27, 2018 | Category: Marriage

You make important decisions every day, but not all hold the same emotional weight. Personal decisions can be uniquely difficult to make; what if your emotions steer you the wrong way? No worries; the latest research offers valuable decision-making suggestions:

When Emotions Trump Rational Feelings

In our logic-oriented society, we inherently distrust emotions. From professional choices to personal decisions, we assume that logical analysis is most trustworthy. Research suggests the opposite. In a notable study conducted by psychologists Timothy D. Williams and Dolores Kraft, respondents asked to assess their relationships based purely on gut feelings better predicted their romantic future than those directed to complete a more thorough analysis.

In "How We Decide," Jonah Lehrer argues that we should rely on analysis when making small, largely impersonal decisions, such as assigning an account at work or determining next week's study schedule. With weighty, personal decisions, however, our gut may prove more trustworthy than our brain.

The Wisdom of 'Sleep On It'

Many of us swear by this sage advice. Something about a good night's rest delivers the clarity needed to make smart choices. Science now offers an intriguing explanation: it's all about REM cycles.

A study published in the Journal of Sleep Researchindicates that people make better decisions after they've enjoyed a full night's rest. Likewise, insomnia can sabotage decision-making, especially in crisis situations. Researchers suggest avoiding key decisions when tired or hungry, as these factors can increase susceptibility to bias.

Tough choices abound as you begin the divorce process, but one decision should be easy: working with a trusted family lawyer. Contact the Brown Law Offices today to learn more about our compassionate approach to sensitive family matters.


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