Decision Making: You know it is the best. But still you will not do it.

You know that it is going be the best option for you. Still you will take some other option. It may be true not just with you, but many others around you too.

A new study suggests that when faced with a decision, people may know which choice gives them the best chance of success, but still they take the other option

People may go by “gut feeling”, a habit, or what worked for them last time, rather than on what they have learned will work most often, said Ian Krajbich, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology and economics at The Ohio State University.

The findings contradict the general belief that people make the less optimal choice because they just don’t know any better. “In our study, people knew what worked most often. They just didn’t use that knowledge,” Krajbich said.

Krajbich gave an example of how the study’s findings may work in real life. Say Main Street is usually the fastest way home from work for you. But yesterday there was an event that was going to slow traffic on Main Street, so you took Spruce Street instead and it got you home a few minutes faster than normal. Today, do you take Main Street—which you know is usually the better route—or take Spruce Street because it worked so well yesterday?

Krajbich said the results of this study suggest that many times we will take the route that worked yesterday and ignore the evidence of what normally works best.

“There’s this tension between doing what you should do, at least from a statistical perspective, versus doing what worked out well recently,” Krajbich said.

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