Look at the big picture for better decisions

Look at the big picture for better decisions

In the study, Stillman and his colleagues found that people tended to make the most efficient decision – the one that resulted in the most overall value for the group – when they looked at the big picture, or saw the forest for the trees.

This “big picture” perspective is what psychologists call “high-level construal” and involves creating psychological distance from the decision. The distance may be time – for example, when you’re planning an event for a year from now. Or it may be distant because it involves people who are far away, or because you’re considering a hypothetical, rather than real, situation, Stillman said.

“High-level construal allows you to step back and see the consequences of your decision and to see more clearly the best way to allocate resources,” he said.

The study appears in the July 2018 issue of the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Source: How looking at the big picture can lead to better decisions


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