Every quarter, our team collects research to share as a springboard for articles.  This quarter, Decision Making had too many good topics to choose from, and we couldn’t get to all of them!  We didn’t want you to miss out, so we are sharing the annotated research/story links here. Let us know if they make you smarter!

1. THIS HARVARD PROFESSOR TALKING ABOUT IMPLICIT BIAS

Need a good explanation on implicit bias? Our brains make decisions based on all kinds of data aside from the facts at hand: context, prior experience, and implicit bias. Here’s a Harvard professor’s video on how we can teach our brains to confront our biases and change them. Short but a goodie.

2. THIS PODCAST ABOUT PEOPLE MAKING BAD DECISIONS

You know those “good people” who make (sometimes very) bad decisions? How do they get into those situations? How do they get out? In this podcast episode “Stay Tuned with Preet,” Preet interviews filmmaker Alex Gibney about his series on corruption (think Enron, Lance Armstrong) now playing on Netflix. Definitely worth a listen.

3. THIS ARTICLE  HOW TO GROW A MORE FLEXIBLE BRAIN

Will we always be stuck making decisions that confirm our point of view? This article breaks down the neurology of confirmation bias, but it also provides a hopeful perspective. We have choice in our decisions– we can evaluate differently if we work to exercise our brains.

4. THIS SECRET TO ENTREPRENEURIAL BRAINS

What can we learn about decision making from the mind of an entrepreneur? A Cambridge neuroscientist studies what she calls hot and cold decision-making: “Hot” is riskier, betting behavior and “cold” is calculated problem solving. Apparently, entrepreneurial brains are different than others due to their flexibility in jumping between these “hot” and “cold” tasks. Can this “entrepreneur” decision making skill be applied to us?

5. THIS STUDY HOW THE BRAIN EVALUATES TARGETS & THREATS

Where’s the blue dot? In this series of experiments, researchers tested people’s evaluative decision making. As the blue dot was shown less, participants started evaluating purple dots as blue. It turns out that our brain’s decision making criteria becomes more broad as the target becomes scarce. Learn why we should be concerned about this brain behavior and what we can do to adjust for it.

6. THIS SURPRISING WAY WE CHANGE OUR MINDSET 

What will change your mind? We know it’s not by arguing about facts or getting into a twitter fight with your uncle!  But read on–new research on decision making finds a surprising way we change our mindset— our brains are able to rationalize the things we feel stuck with. Learn more about how our brains shift to adapt to new thinking because being in resistance to an idea is inefficient use of energy.  

7. THIS DECISION MAKING STYLE MAY INFLUENCE YOUR HAPPINESS

Did you know your decision making style may reveal how happy you are?  This research dives into the Epic Battle of the “maximizers” vs the “satisficers.”  Each style has pros/cons but there are longer term outcomes (happiness!) attributed just one.  Check it out to learn what style matches you best.

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  8. THIS ONE DECISION RULES THEM ALL

Can you make just one decision?  This researcher can efficiently drill down his decision making subtasks–where to go, what to eat, what to do, how long to do that, and overall wellbeing– into just one big decision.  What is it and how does he do it?

 

 

 

 

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Patty Freedman

Director of Marketing at Six Seconds
Patty is a writer, researcher and specialist is visual communication. She is especially interested in neuroscience and culture.

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