Have you ever pondered back over and over an idea meticulously? Debating all logic and rationale from the smallest decisions of what to have for lunch to picking the perfect holiday destination? Well, a study into the nature of decision making and the thought processes behind them found that men are twice as likely to make a decision ‘straight away’ than women.
The researchers asked 2,000 men and women to evaluate their decisions in life and found women are much more likely to consider the opinions of friends and take time on their choices while men adopt a more immediate process.
A quarter of women said their approach was often to spend a long time deciding over the details of a decision before making it, where as less than a fifth of men take the same approach.
Psychologist Cliff Arnall explained the results: ‘’There are stark differences between how men and women make decisions. Women’s were significantly more likely to rely on others where as men were more confident coming to conclusions.”
The research, which was commissioned by indoor swimming pool builders Origin Leisure, found some interesting results when it came to the persona of using your head or heart to make decisions. Brits were four times more likely to make a decision with their head than go on what the heart says.
Arnall continues: “Heart and gut feelings operate at a much faster and more primitive level than regular thought processes. The heart is based on emotion, the gut on survival. Gut feelings can be useful. 95% of the human body’s feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin is produced by the gut.”
The study also found a quarter of Brits find it easier to make really big decisions than they do smaller ones. The tendency to trust their gut for ‘life-changing’ choices such as whether or not to buy a house or propose to a partner, then taking more time over things like buying jeans or new shoes.
Commenting on the big decisions made in their lives so far, women were more likely to cite starting a family while men chose the financial commitment of choosing to buy a property. Men also know sooner after meeting someone if they want to start a relationship, 41 per cent of men make up their minds on the same day.
Gary Taylor of Origin Leisure added: “It’s clear from our research that many people make decisions with an acute sense of how it will impact friends, family and loved ones. These decisions are incredibly motivating and often offer lasting happiness. We see this many times over in our line of business. Listen to your gut instinct and enjoy it.”
Psychologist Cliff Arnall offers five remedies for indecision:
1. Adopt an attitude of boldness.
2. Get all the information you reasonably can. Acknowledging that 90% or 100% is rarely possible so aim to gather 80% of the information you need to make your decision.
3. Write down the pros and cons of making the decision.
4. Talk separately to your three closest friends and get a dispassionate opinion from them however you will need to give them permission to tell you what they really think!
5. Set yourself a date and a time at which point you will decide either way.
How could you be more decisive at work or at home?