Prioritizing Decisions: The Human Process

Individuals, reportedly, make thirty-five thousand choices per day. Although that seems like an overwhelming rate of decisions, many occur subconsciously.

Within the field of psychology and behavioral economics two “systems” arise, which help guide our decisions. System One is described as unconscious, automatic and error-prone decisions. Whereas System Two is conscious, affordable, and reliable. An example of System One is executing daily activities such as eating or going to class. System Two includes making an investment, for example, buying a car or a house.

In regards to what people prioritize, ‘The National Sleep Foundation’ noted that Americans particularly prioritized five values. The first value is fitness which is prioritized 35%, the next value is work at 27%. Hobbies are valued by 17%, sleep 10%, and lastly having an active social life is valued at 9%. It is important to note these values as they impact how people make everyday decisions.

These properties are very telling of what Americans today value, and more importantly how they decide to spend their time. The main values are fitness, nutrition, and work which translates towards the ideology that individuals like to improve on themselves while remaining productive in their careers. The values that are beneficial for one’s mental health receive lower priority including hobbies and sleep. However, the values listed above are decisions that individuals make every day to better one’s happiness. Ultimately, a conscious decision or an extreme change in mindset seems appropriate towards improving one’s well being. Yet a neuroscientist, Moran Cerf, reports overwise. Cerf’s research indicates that a System One change can increase happiness.

Moran Cerf makes the argument that it is who you decided to surround yourself with, as the company you keep will improve long-term satisfaction and overall well being. Cerf’s research stated that when people are in good company, the brain waves will start to connect, and the waves will become identical. The act of togetherness can impact your engagement level based on each other’s mannerisms. With this mindset in mind, the decision to choose your company can affect your mood. In addition, the neuroscientist, suggests that individuals should decide to be with people who have desirable traits.

The act of remaining connected will allow individuals to be more engaged in conservation and more aware of their surroundings. Ultimately, this connection will limit draining decisions as your company shares the same brain wavelength. Lastly, these studies remind us to be mindful of how we spend our time and what decisions we feel compelled to choose on a daily basis.

Works Cited

Colbert, T. (2018, March 11). National Sleep Foundation’s 2018 Sleep in America® Poll Shows Americans Failing to Prioritize Sleep. Retrieved from ericar-poll-shows-americans-failing

Elwyn, G., Frosch, D., & Thomson, R. (2012, October). Shared decision making: a model for clinical practice. Retrieved from

U. A. (n.d.). System 1 vs 2 Decision Making for Market Research. Retrieved from

Weller, C. (2017, July 28). A neuroscientist who studies decision-making reveals the most important choice you can make. Retrieved from

Article by: Alexis Takagi

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