Men are more decisive than women, it emerged recently. A study of 2,000 people into the nature of decision making and the thought processes behind them found men are twice as likely to make a decision ‘straight away’ than women.
The study also found that even though women take longer to reach their decisions overall, they are more likely to regret the choice they made further down the line.
The research, which was commissioned by indoor swimming pool builders Origin Leisure, found the head really does rule the heart with Brits more than four times more likely to make a decision with their head than go on what the heart says.
When a choice does require a bit of soul-searching, women are more likely to do something ‘from the heart’ than blokes results found.
Psychologist Cliff Arnall said: ‘’There are stark differences between how men and women make decisions. Women’s significant reliance on others plus a reluctance to make a wrong decision points to a measurable lack of confidence compared to men.”
‘’Weighing up different outcomes and scenarios may seem like a good strategy but it appears to be accompanied by increasing levels of stress and uncertainty. Going round in circles soon becomes counterproductive and leads to decision paralysis and feelings of frustration.”
Cliff Arnall adds: “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 shouldn’t be dismissed as rash – 95% of the human body’s feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin is produced by the gut.”
Psychologist Cliff Arnall offers some remedies for indecision:
1. Adopt an attitude of boldness. If you’re not feeling it then pretend!
2. Get all the information you reasonably can. Acknowledging that 90% or 100% is rarely possible aim to gather 80% of the information you need to make your decision.
3. Write down the pros and cons of making the decision. Don’t hold back – being brutally truthful and open at this stage can save much stress later on.
4. Write down the very worst thing that can happen, e.g. lose all your savings, become homeless, be thought of as a failure by your community.
5. Talk separately to your three closest friends and get a dispassionate opinion from them but you’ll need to give them permission to tell you what they really think!
6. Are your head, heart and gut aligned? If not sleep on it for a day or two.
7. Set yourself a date and a time at which point you will decide either way. Suggestion is between 5 and 10 days, e.g. by the 17th July at noon I will make my decision with conviction come what may.