NPR

Why Hard Decisions Should Be Easy (But Aren't)

Hard decisions are hard for two reasons: because no single option clearly dominates the alternatives, and because we expect our choice to have significant consequences, says blogger Tania Lombrozo.
Source: iStockphoto

We make dozens of decisions on a daily basis: what to have for breakfast, which task to complete first, which article to read.

Most of these decisions are easy.

But then there are the hard decisions — the ones we agonize over, the ones that lead to sleepless nights. These decisions are hard for two reasons: because no single option clearly dominates the alternatives, and because we expect our choice to have significant consequences. It's these two elements that explain why hard decisions should be easy — but are not.

Let's start

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Women's World Cup: Team USA To Bring All They Have Against Chile
They play their second match of the Cup Sunday. "You put yourself in the best position to advance in this tournament," Coach Jill Ellis said when asked if she'd tell her team to play less than 100%.
NPR5 min readSociety
Pregnant, Locked Up, And Alone
Natalie Lynch spent the last two weeks of her pregnancy in a prison cell, mostly alone. As female incarceration rates rise, some states are banning solitary confinement of pregnant women.
NPR4 min read
A Muslim In Rural, White Minnesota On How To 'Love Thy Neighbor'
After Donald Trump's election, Dr. Ayaz Virji started giving talks to mostly white, Christian audiences in rural Minnesota to try to dispel misconceptions about Muslims. He faced a lot of backlash.