Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security


You make bad decisions when too much info is available

Leadership StrategiesEdward KiledjianComment

We live in the information age where almost anything can be researched and learned from the massive information superhighway. But is too much information a bad thing?

Psychology today has an interesting article that claims the more we learn, the harder it becomes to make a decision. Pushing the point just a little more: more information may encourage us to make a worse decision.

The article is worth reading and one paragraph that stood out at me was this:

"The human mind hates uncertainty. Uncertainty implies volatility, randomness, and danger. When we notice information is missing, our brain raises a metaphorical red flag and says, "Pay attention. This could be important."

If information overload leads to bad decisions, then why do we do it? They have a great explanation

Learning is associated with the release of dopamine, the same as powerful drugs like cocaine. It's why we are so vulnerable to an Internet rife with attention parasites that leave us worse for the wear.

They also state that humans tend to over-estimate the value of missing information. Any time we feel info is missing, our subconscious assumes it must be useful. The moral of the story is to consciously decide how much information you really need to make a good decision and stick to your plan.

I wonder if we will ever see people claiming to be "Information Addicts". Do we need to create a 12-step program for information addiction? LOL