Thursday, April 30, 2009

Choosing What Makes Us Happy (8): Rule Based Decisions

Decision-makers sometimes base their choices on rules for ‘good behavior’ rather than what they predicted as the optimal choice. Examples of such decision rules include:

Don’t waste: Research has shown that when people have double-booked an activity, they will choose the one which is more expensive, even if the less expensive one is more enjoyable.

Seek variety: The concept of variety being the spice of life may make people make decisions contradictory to their own predicted experience of a repeat particular experience having the ability to generate greater happiness.

A boy may be quite happy in the company of a girl, but the concept of seeking variety may cause him to date different girls only to realize that this variety didn’t add to his happiness.

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