Breaking scientific research is in. Apparently 15 minutes of mindfulness will significantly improve your decision making skills. Here’s everything you need to know.
One of the key ways in which meditation makes you more intelligent is that it improves your decision making skills.
According to research at The Wharton School and INSEAD (“The Business School for the World”) has revealed that fifteen minutes a day practicing mindfulness meditation significantly is one of the best forms decision making skills training a person can do.
People struggle to make the right decisions often because of a lack of acceptance. We stay in bad relationships for long periods of time; we continue to eat unhealthily, to not exercise and to not look after our health; we stay in an unsuitable job sometimes for years. This bad decision making is caused by a behaviour scientists term “sunk-cost bias.” As researcher Andre Hafenbrack states, “People struggle to admit that they were wrong when a previous decision leads to a negative outcome. They prefer not to feel wasteful and don’t like to believe their original decision and original investment was a loss.” This behaviour then leads them to think delude themselves into looking positively at bad decisions. “This causes them to lose more resources and more time.”
In their studies, Hafenback and his co-researchers discovered that mindfulness helps to remove people from the problem of “sunk-cost bias” by enabling people to see with more clarity and more acceptance. Mindfulness is such an effective form of decision making skills training because it removes people from sunk-cost bias.
“A brief period of mindfulness encourages individuals to make better decisions by considering the information available in the present moment while ignoring [the complications associated with ‘sunk cost bias’].”
The studies performed by INSEAD and The Wharton School tested the idea that 15 minutes of mindfulness meditation represented effective decision making skills training. In the study, individuals discussed how they focus on the present moment and read ten sunk-cost scenarios—which included such scenarios as attending a music festival which had already been paid for, while illness made enjoyment unlikely. The results of the test showed that after mindfulness meditation people were more focussed on the present moment and were more likely to make better quality decisions.
“Meditation reduces the amount of focus people place on the past and the future, and reduces negative emotions,” said Zoe Kinias, co-author of the research.
For a complete guide, read Mindfulness and Meditation Techniques for Beginners.
Got any tips on how to improve your decision making skills? Leave a comment.