Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Social Media's Affect on Decision Making

There is an interesting article on information overload and the affect of social media on decision making. I find that now having a mobile phone with twitter, facebook and access to gmail you don't have any free time unless you make it yourself.

The best part of the article for me was how our brains are wired to give more importance to the latest information and this would be relevant in olden days but not now as we are constantly getting new information and alot of that information is incorrect.

But knowing that this is how your brain is wired should at least help in giving importance to new information when making in decision making.

‘Recency’ Trumps Quality 
The brain is wired to notice change over stasis. An arriving email that pops to the top of your BlackBerry qualifies as a change; so does a new Facebook post. We are conditioned to give greater weight in our decision-making machinery to what is latest, not what is more important or more interesting. “There is a powerful ‘recency’ effect in decision making,” says behavioral economist George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon University. “We pay a lot of attention to the most recent information, discounting what came earlier.” Getting 30 texts per hour up to the moment when you make a decision means that most of them make all the impression of a feather on a brick wall, whereas Nos. 29 and 30 assume outsize importance, regardless of their validity. “We’re fooled by immediacy and quantity and think it’s quality,” 

My personal view is that Social Media's affect makes a lot of decision that are not accurate and falls into making 80/20 rule.


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