· You cant make decision after decision without paying a biological price.
o The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts.
· Decision Fatigue involves a psychological phenomenon called ego depletion.
o There is a finite store of mental energy for exerting self-control.
o The act of making lots of choices can sap one’s willpower.
o Part of the resistance against making decisions comes from our fear of giving up options.
· Once you’re mentally depleted, you become reluctant to make tradeoffs.
o To compromise is a complex human ability and therefore one of the first to decline when willpower is depleted. –you are programmed to hoard your energy.
o If you’re shopping, you’re liable to look at only one dimension, like price…or quality.
· Shopping can be especially tiring for the poor who have to struggle continually with trade-offs.
o Therefore, they have less willpower to devote to school, work and other activities that might get them into the middle class.
· Psychologists like to envision the human mind as a computer, focusing on the way it processes information—they neglect the power source: GLUCOSE
o The brain derives its energy from glucose.
o Glucose can mitigate ego depletion and sometimes completely reverse it.
o Restored willpower improves people’s self control as well as the quality of their decisions.
· Ego depletion causes activity to rise in some parts of the brain and to decline in others.
o Your brain does not stop working when glucose is low.
o It responds more strongly to immediate rewards and pays less attention to long-term prospects.
o People spend between three and four hours a day resisting desire.
· Where there were fewer decisions, there was less decision fatigue. Today we feel overwhelmed because there are so many choices.
o A typical computer user looks at more than three dozen web sites a day.
· Ego depletion manifests itself not as one feeling but rather as a propensity to experience everything more intensely.
o When the brain’s regulatory powers weaken, frustrations seem more irritating than usual.
· The people with the best self control are the ones who structure their lives so as to conserve willpower.
o They don’t schedule back to back meetings.
o They avoid temptations like all-you-can-eat buffets.
o They establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices.
o The best decision makers are the ones who know when NOT to trust themselves.