No regrets: Close that menu and enjoy your meal more
Eric Barker stashed this in Happiness
Gonna try this at lunch tomorrow.
This psychology is not intuitive:
In a series of studies, consumers were asked to choose from a large selection of products (chocolates, teas, biscuits) and then either performed or didn't perform a physical act of closure. In one study, consumers were asked to choose one of twenty-four chocolates displayed on a tray covered by a lid and then either put the lid back on the tray or not before eating the selected chocolate. In other studies, consumers chose an item from an extensive menu and either closed the menu or not before tasting the chosen item. Consumers who closed the lid or the menu liked what they ate more than those who didn't perform an act of closure.
Not giving the mind the belief it has other options makes the mind feel happier.
But why was wetware designed to be unhappy with more choices?
We're biased toward wanting more choices -- even when we know it's not good:
The reason closing off choices makes us happier is due to another cognitive bias: once a choice is made our brain rushes to rationalize our decisions. By leaving options open the brain keeps revisiting them, wondering which is best. Making a decision we can't reverse makes us happier because we convince ourselves it was for the best:
Let me see if I understand:
Decision making is a feedback loop; cutting out choices means less feedback.
Less feedback means more brain calm. More brain calm means more happiness.