Monday, June 24, 2013

Rational Decisions or Instinct?

Fire leaders do not often have the luxury of when they make decisions; however, they can be mindful of the effects brain chemistry has on decision making. Baba Shiv shares some insightful information on the subject for all of us from his Stanford Business YouTube video "How to Make Better Decisions."

Video Highlights
  • "Most of our decisions, whether we like it or not, most of our actions, most of our behavior, most of our experiences are constantly being shaped at the instinctual level."
  • 90 to 95% of all decisions are made at the emotional level.
  • Neuromodulators such as serotonin and dopamine affect decisions.
    • Neuromodulators levels decrease in the afternoon leading to more risk-averse decisions and a aggravation to the status quo bias and manifest in an indecision.
  • Deep sleep is critical to bringing natural serotonin levels back to normal.
    • Lack of sleep can result in decisions made out of fear.
  • Physical activity releases a precursor to serotonin and helps keep levels elevated during the day.
  • High-protein breakfasts are beneficial.

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