“Decision Fatigue”

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The exhaustion of decision-making is now scientifically validated.

This essay looks at how decision fatigue, or “ego depletion,” manifests, in examining settings such as the courtroom, the grocery store, and even Ceasar’s decision to march on Rome. Decision fatigue can significantly weaken will-power, lower glucose levels, making people being less likely to compromise and more likely to choose the “default option.”

“The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice.

(Via Arts and Letters Daily)


Lisa Dusenbery is the former managing editor of The Rumpus. More from this author →