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How to decide at the time of conflict?

Akash Deep


We often get into a situation when we have to choose between two right options. People spend days while thinking over what to choose from and as a result it delays the decision and pressure to take the decision also builds up. Increased pressure only results in a person taking the irrational decision. This affects our quality of decisions and while thinking over our previous decisions, we tend to regret later.

I have found a trick which will help you take the right decision in the time of conflict. This trick is very simple but will work all the time.

Trick is to write

Writing your thought process while taking a decision will help you take the rational decision without any bias. Even though I am referring this as a trick, there is some science behind it as well.

There are two types of thinking processes in our mind. One is system 1 and another is system 2 thinking ( Daniel Kahneman, Thinking fast and Slow) system 1 is intuitive thought and system 2 is rational thought. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and full of biases and heuristics whereas system 2 is slow, rational and does not have any biases.

When you are writing your thoughts, you are deliberately slowing down your thought process and system 2 thinking takes precedence. You can clearly see through the biases in your judgement during the process of writing. Your mind will become clear while you are writing your thoughts and your decision is more likely to be rational.

Another reason writing will help you in taking a better decision is the act of writing itself. While we are writing something, we are committing ourselves to the text we are writing (Robert Cialdini, Influence).

Dr. Cialdini conducted some experiments where subjects were made to write something which they did not believe. He concluded that the act of writing by the subjects made them believe in whatever they had written. Act of writing those ideas (which they were opposing initially) made the subjects believe in those ideas at a later stage.

So if you are just thinking about the conflicting ideas then you are more likely to not commit to the conclusion as compared to the conclusion you will arrive while writing them down.