I just finished a fascinating book called Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The book talks about subconscious decisions that are made rapidly, and factors that influence our judgment. For a book that talks about not thinking, it sure has made me think!
I took a ton of notes to ponder, but one thing that stood out to me from the book was the premise that too much information can actually hinder decision making. The key is not knowledge, but understanding.
I can totally relate to this. This happens every time I have to decide to buy something. For example, on my birthday my husband said he wanted to buy me a camera. So what went through my mind?
- Nikon or Canon?
- I like Canon but already have Nikon lenses.
- Do I want to spend more money on Canon lenses?
- Do I get the cheaper model, which has fewer features, or the more expensive model, which has more features?
- Do I need video on this camera?
- If I get the cheaper camera, how long is the life on this thing?
- If I get the more expensive one, it will last me a lifetime.
- If I get the cheaper one, it is more affordable but I wonder if I will hit the ceiling on its limitations like the current camera.
- My current camera is fine.
- Forget buying a new camera.
- But my current camera won’t focus in low light. This is a problem taking pictures in church.
- 70% of my pictures came out bad because they were unfocused.
- Maybe it’s the lens. Maybe I should save up for a new lens.
- The new cameras have bigger pixels.
- My current camera was being discontinued when I got it 5 years ago. It’s a bit out of date with technology.
- Where would I get money for the new camera?
- We have money in savings. I should use that for seminary.
- But I use my camera all the time for ministry.
- And I have photos in my blog almost every day.
- But I am frustrated half the time because my camera won’t focus.
- And the pictures are a bit fuzzy compared to what is possible now with new cameras.
- Paul says to be content in all circumstances. I can be content.
- But Albert really wants to get me a camera for my birthday.
- And the camera is one of the tools I use most on a regular basis.
- But it sure costs a lot of money…
Well, you get the idea. End result. No camera. More deliberation. Four months pass.
Finally, Albert gets tired of the whole thing and just goes out and buys me a camera.
And I am so happy!!!!!!!! 🙂
This is what happens every time I go shopping. No wonder I always come home with a headache. (The camera came yesterday and today I spent half my afternoon going through half the encyclopedic tome that masqueraded as an owner’s manual that came with the camera. Then I ended up with another headache!)
Anyway, the book talks about how too much information can impair your judgment. I guess I would be a perfect example.
I highly recommend the book. My daughter has already absconded with it and started telling her brother all about it.
I guess that means it’s really interesting!