Be thankful and make better long-term decisions

The Boston Globe:

We are notoriously bad at foregoing instant gratification for longer-term rewards. In laboratory studies and in the real world, people frequently make impatient decisions that economists would call “suboptimal,” and, in real-life terms, result in credit card debt, obesity, or drug addiction.

Add emotion to the mix, and the decision-making seems to get worse: sad people make even more impatient financial decisions, one study found. Stamping out emotional responses seems like the best path to making wiser and more logical decisions.

A team of researchers led by a Northeastern University psychologist has found, however, that one emotion can make us more patient: feeling grateful improves people’s ability to take the long-view when making financial decisions.

In a study to be published in the journal Psychological Science, they found that, on average, grateful people were more willing to forego immediate temptation for a larger reward than people who were merely neutral or happy.

Read the whole story: The Boston Globe

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Comments

I have to agree that we’re fairly poor at decision-making, particularly when our emotions are involved. My own preferred method is Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats. It usually gets me to a decision and outcome that I’m happy with. You can read how I implement the strategy here: http://www.winterwisdom.com/difficulty-making-decisions-simple-technique

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