Decision Made – Let the Rationalizing Begin

Thanks to Slashdot for picking up an item from the Wall Street Journal — Get Out of Your Way — showing that we make up our minds 10 seconds before we let ourselves know it.

Experiments with the usual brood of university undergraduates (read about them here) revealed that

our best reasons for some choices we make are understood only by our cells. The findings lend credence to researchers who argue that many important decisions may be best made by going with our gut — not by thinking about them too much.

Trial lawyers know this, right?  Anne Reed?  You there?

Mom always said I thought too much.  And Dutch researchers are proving her right (another one for you, mom!)

Dutch researchers . . . recently found that people struggling to make relatively complicated consumer choices — which car to buy, apartment to rent or vacation to take — appeared to make sounder decisions when they were distracted and unable to focus consciously on the problem.

Moreover, the more factors to be considered in a decision, the more likely the unconscious brain handled it all better, they reported in the peer-reviewed journal Science in 2006. “The idea that conscious deliberation before making a decision is always good is simply one of those illusions consciousness creates for us,” Dr. Dijksterhuis said.

Here’s another lesson I learned nearly thirty years ago in law school that the researchers are only now proving — you just have to feed your brain the information and then, literally or figuratively go to sleep.  Start writing and you will write your way into the solution that your brain already knew.

(I also used this technique preparing the depositions of technical expert witnesses — petrochemical engineers, statisticians and the like)

The Take Away for Negotiators?

Prepare.  Ask questions.  Have a firm bottom line (or, better yet, fool yourself into believing your bottom line is less or more than it already is).

Then rock and roll!

The more you negotiate (try it at your local retail store) the better your mind will become at improvising the moves necessary — in the commpletely unpredictable present — to get what your brain already knows you really want.

                        author

Victoria Pynchon

Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all… MORE >

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