Indecisiveness is a form of intelligence

Yes, like Chidi Anagonye in the series The good placeIf you feel unable to make the slightest decision, rest assured: unlike the character played by William Jackson Harper, your indecisiveness shouldn’t hurt you unduly.

This inability to choose is often linked to anxiety issues, the BBC summarizes, but recent research has shown they can also have benefits. It protects against certain cognitive errors, for example (including confirmation bias), and the decisions it leads to one day are often wiser because they are the result of long deliberations that have made it possible to weigh the benefits against as comprehensive as possible.

After all, those who are too indecisive simply lack the little impulse that allows them to get started at the right time instead of remaining in a state of inertia that can end up being difficult – both for themselves and for their loved ones.

According to a study conducted at the German University of Dresden by doctoral student Jana-Maria Hohnsbehn and professor of social psychology Iris Schneider, the people who make the most sensible decisions and who (themselves) ask the best questions are the most hesitant.

decisions and emotions

This is explained by the fact that, instead of clearing their conscience by convincing themselves that the choice that seduces them is the best, the undecided tend, on the contrary, to preoccupy themselves with the other possibilities that arise offer, and constantly delude themselves that the way they will not go may be the best. It also makes them more open as they have taken the time to delve into conflicting opinions and differing experiences.

As said, indecisiveness promotes decision-making intelligence, but also emotional intelligence: in fact, according to German studies, people with decision-making difficulties are positively characterized by their ability to avoid correspondence bias, which consists in attributing failures to a person, instead of also considering the context of the failure .

So indecisiveness is actually a good thing, provided you know how to throw yourself off the diving board sooner or later. “As in many areas, balance is key”confirms Jana-Maria Hohnsbehn.

And if you’re having trouble deciding, the BBC reminds you of the work of American economist Steven Levitt, co-author of the bestseller freaconomy, A good decision rule is […] to choose the action that represents change and not the status quo”. Deciding to change would often be more fruitful, but that doesn’t stop you from thinking a long time before you finally decide on this alternative.

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