Our brains use glucose just like the rest of our body. However, when our muscles are depleted of energy, we feel it. When parts of our brain are depleted, we may not know it even though it’s affecting our decisions.
Over the last two weeks, two different people sent me this NY Times article on Decision Fatigue. It’s a worthwhile read for understanding the challenges both we and others face when making a difficult decision. The advice to sleep on a decision may not only be about giving your brain time to process the situation but also making sure the parts needed to make the decision have plenty of energy. If we are mentally fatigued we are less likely to make any decision, thereby accepting the default option.
One of the most interesting things about the various behavioral economics research is that we are not always able to fully recognize or understand how our brains are performing — like a faulty machine trying to detect its own error. We need conversations with each other to break out of our own mental models. Recognizing that our perceptions are not perfect can help us improve our decisions — and I guess, so can a good sugary dessert. 🙂