Deciding on God’s side

“Better one safe way than a hundred on which you cannot reckon.” So ends one of Aesop’s fables comparing the survival instincts of a fox and a cat. The moral is that too much consideration of our options can be unproductive, even dangerous.

With today’s constant barrage of information from media outlets and online news feeds, the struggle to choose and decide wisely is on the increase. There’s even a name for it: analysis paralysis. Simply put, when people and businesses overthink a situation (like the fox in that fable), things run the risk of becoming needlessly complicated. Productivity and forward motion can grind to a halt. Instead of at some point starting to do something with the information, resources, time, at hand, they may spin their wheels, and in the process forfeit potential gains and opportunities.

“With too much information, people’s decisions make less and less sense,” says Prof. Angelika Dimoka, a neuroscientist at Temple University in Philadelphia. Newsweek tells how she and her colleagues have studied brain activity in the attempt to explain what’s going on ( There is even a branch of study known as “survival psychology,” which examines what makes some people able to steer clear of paralyzing indecision during emergencies and crises.

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September 26, 2011

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