"People believe that thinking about the decision longer yields more satisfying choices," the author writes. "Yet in contrast to that commonly held belief, consumers who consider their options closely are often struck by a feeling of discomfort as soon as they have chosen one alternative over others ('Deliberating makes choosing feel like losing'). This is accompanied by a sense that the foregone options are more desirable than they had seemed before the choice."
My friends believe I over-deliberate. They consider our family's recent house search as exhibit A.
It's true that when my wife and I were looking for a house, we were consumed with the decision-making process. But as anyone who has ever embarked on a house purchase knows, the journey is, in a word, hellish. I described our experience in detail in an earlier column. In case you didn't see that one, the abbreviated version goes something like this: We looked for a house with a fireplace in the city at a certain price; we ended up in a house without a fireplace in the suburbs at a price far above what we told ourselves we'd pay.
As David Byrne of the Talking Heads once asked (in the same song in which he exclaimed, "This is not my beautiful house"), how did I get here?