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Decision Making

Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT

Decision making can be hard. Whether it is picking out what to wear or which college to choose, most find it difficult to make decisions.

Although making a decision can be hard, we make decisions every day. It is important to identify, is it a big or small decision. An example of a big decision would be buying a house, while buying a new shirt may be a small decision. Have you overanalyzed the situation or have you given yourself the appropriate time to think out the decision? In 1952, William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman developed a theory on making dicisions. Referred to as Hick's law or the Hick-Hyman Law, states the time it takes to make a decision increases proportionally to the number and complexity of choices. Therefore, it is important to give yourself the time you need and be okay with it.

Here are some tips to help you with the decision making process.


You need to make a list all of the possible outcomes. If you are deciding between going to college close to home or across the country. Make a list of pros and cons. (Is it a pro to be able to come home for the weekend, or is it that a con?)


Give yourself a timeline. Circle a date on the calendar and stick to it. By this date, I will decide my major in college. It does not have to be carved in stone, just a temporary decision. So don't stress if you need more time, just take the time to evaluate where you are with the decision and identify if you made progress with your decision making.


Weigh the risks. Will something that you choose be dangerous to you or someone else? If you are deciding to drive after you had one or two or take a taxi. Which is more important that you arrive home safe because you called a cab or that you put yourself and others at risk by driving under the influence?


Decide what is best for you. What will make you happy in the long run? You have to live with your decision and be comfortable with it.

Decision making is not easy, but everyone has to do it. Make sure you choose what is the right (and safest) decision for you, and you can't go wrong!

* Photo courtesy of Laura Liu Photography.

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