Thursday, March 29, 2012

Decision-making and Stress

Did you know that risk versus reward are processed differently in the brain in people who make decisions while under stress? According to studies by Mather and Lighthall, reported in Current Directions in Psychological Science, individuals who make decisions while under stress are more likely to pay more attention to the upside of a possible outcome (than the downside). For example, a person under stress might decide to take a street drug to feel better momentarily and ignore the potential negative consequences; or take a new job with a slightly higher salary while ignoring the consequences of a longer and more stressful commute. Knowing this, if you are under stress, try to hold off on making a big decision.

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