Have you ever had a tough time making a decision? If so, were you tempted to delay making that choice? If so, did it make the situation better or worse?
Most of the time we think that delaying making a decision will give us more useful time to deliberate which should ultimately lead to a better decision. However, is that true?
In an article by Hollie Richardson called, Decision-Making: Research Shows What Happens When We Wait for “Something Better”, it becomes clear that there is a cost to delaying decisions. As she points out:
Christiane Baumann, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology, explained the way people think as being like: “The price that I am prepared to pay increases every day by the same amount. That is, the further along I am in the process, the higher the price I will accept.”
This principle can be applied not only to purchases, but also situations such as choice of an employer or a romantic partner: “At the beginning perhaps my standards are high. But over time they may lower so that in the end I may settle for someone I would have rejected in the beginning.”
Basically, the longer we leave it to make a decision, the more we’re prepared to gamble, and our standards can drop.
With this in mind, what decision are you putting off making? What if you made that decision right now?