"Paralysis by analysis" is a concept that has emerged from the theory of decision a theory that deals with the study of how people choose actions or behaviors between different options or possibilities of action, directing them towards the best personal result from their preferences. This theory analyzes the decision process by first identifying the possible options that are feasible for the person who decides, and after evaluating the consequences of each option, it is assumed that he will choose the one that he believes has the best consequences for him, the one you most want. We usually decide on specific personal problems focusing attention on some aspects and not on others, on certain individual values and not on others. This theory has great influence in different disciplines, such as economics, psychology, sociology, philosophy and political science.
Stopped by too much information for decision making
According to our previous experience we decided to act in a certain way before a certain event taking into consideration both the cognitive effort required and the probability of satisfying our needs either the approval of others or the minimization of conflicts, for example. The paralysis by analysis is to stop acting in situations in which we have to make important decisions by an excess of reflective thoughts, collecting so much information on the subject that the excess of analysis complicates the correct decision making by the effort cognitive that is accurate. It is the typical error of projects that aspire to perfection and never materialize because they are immersed in the permanent previous analysis . Excess information is called infoxication which is the mental block that produces the inability to analyze all available information, often from different points of view. The more options we look for, the more effort we will devote to analyzing and evaluating all the options to choose the best one being able to become a exhausting and frustrating process .
It is also, from the perspective of psychology, reflect obsessively on any social conflict and the different possibilities that will be given after acting in one way or another. The fear of making mistakes can feed anxiety and sometimes lead to the inability to manage this emotion and move forward in solving problems. The term informational anxiety has been coined to refer to the feelings produced by our cognitive limitations to assimilate the current superabundance of information. When we think excessively about a problematic situation, the paralysis by analysis may arise, stagnating us in the field of ideas instead of acting to solve the situation. Or we can paralyze ourselves looking for perfectionism in an academic work or a project, which remains unfinished because there is always some data to add or something to improve. Often is the fear of failure that leads us to perfectionism .
Faced with this paralysis is advised to practice the selective ignorance an expression that refers to disdain the unnecessary information that distracts us to concentrate on the truly relevant of the situation, being more aware of our vital goals. Although having information improves our decisions there is a limit: when we spend more time studying the possibilities than acting, generating indecision and anxiety. To overcome the paralysis by analysis we do not have to be obsessed with the perfect solution but concentrate on what is really important by choosing the first option that fits our expectations and that is reasonable enough for us. practice, leaving aside small details that may change or expire over time. It is important that we define our objectives well based on our values, making conscious what we most want and want to achieve. And then develop a plan and put it into practice.
All paralysis is overcome with action and although we are not sure at all because we accept our limitations mental problems and the difficulties to obtain all the information, the "start doing" sets us in motion and pushes us to adapt to the circumstances, and as we move forward step by step, we solve the contingencies found by ] simple and adaptive rules of decision: the heuristic . This term refers to learning by trial and error, when our decisions are quick and leave the background in the background, and although errors may occur in the chosen option improve our learning based on experience, while strengthening our Self-confidence and motivation
Author : Iñaki Kabato (collaborator of our Blog)