Rough Version - Decision Fatigue, ego-depletion and what it means for you.

September 8, 2014

Decision Fatigue

This is a rough version

Imagine running as fast as you can, sweat dripping from your face, your muscles are tense and sore, and it’s becoming difficult to take that next step. We are exerting physical energy and only have a limited supply of it. Each and every step becomes more difficult and eventually we are unable to continue this exertion. The same idea can apply to making a decision. When we make decisions we are drawing from a pool of resources or energy. The less resources we have, the harder it becomes to make a decision, especially a good decision. This idea is called decision fatigue.

Decision fatigue in our every day lives

When you go to the grocery store, near the counter are snacks, gum, and other items you can buy. Why is this? It’s because after deciding what to buy throughout the store, you are more likely to make the decision to buy one of these items because you are experiencing decision fatigue.

Decision fatigue could prove fatal

Decision fatigue could even mean something as drastic as life or death for some. A study of inmates appealing for parole showed that those who appeared at earlier times received parole 70% more than those who appeared late in the day. Those who appeared late in the day received parole 10% of the time.

What’s this all mean? You should probably make your most important decisions early in the day.