Why Do We Make Bad Decisions?

It would be fair to say that most people don’t purposely make bad decisions. When poor choices happen, it is usually due to several circumstances coming together simultaneously to create an adverse life event.

We must also consider our circumstances. The average person has about 20,000 thoughts and 2,000 decisions that get made each hour.

Most of our choices are made automatically. Some of them require some deep thought to come to the correct conclusion. Even then, we don’t always get to the right place.

Here are some of the most common reasons why we make bad decisions in life.

1. We Are Always Distracted

Researchers found that the average person processes about five times more information today than what people were managing 30 years ago. Our technology access provides unprecedented convenience, but it also creates a constant distraction state. Many people struggle to focus, constantly checking email, social media, and the news to feel like they’re up-to-date with current events.

2. Zero Input

Bad decisions get made because some people don’t get opportunities to contribute. In the average meeting, only three individuals do a majority of the speaking. When someone has an introverted personality, they’re hesitant to say anything until there is something specific to contribute.

3. Excessive Multi-Tasking

Only 2% of the human race has the mental capacity to manage multiple projects simultaneously without losing productivity. For everyone else, each transition to a new task can take up to 15 minutes before the pace gets restored. If you’re checking email constantly while trying to finish a project, you may never reach peak production – and that leads to poor decisions.

4. Emotional Reactions

When your anger levels rise, the logic centers of the brain decrease. Once you reach an emotional peak, you are at the highest risk of making poor choices. This issue also occurs with happiness because it increases the chances that someone will act impulsively.

When too much information is available, it can lead to paralysis. This situation can also cause people to hesitate or rush the decision-making process, causing bad decisions to happen repetitively.