Mental Shortcuts | Shrestha | Psychologist and Asstt. Editor | The People Management

MENTAL SHORTCUTSIn situations where you observe someone in a dark alley with their hood up and choose to move a little faster, it is likely that your brain has employed a heuristic rather than a thorough and deliberate process to assess the situation. Our brains employ heuristics, or mental shortcuts, to help us make decisions quickly even when we don’t have all the necessary information. They can be viewed as simple guidelines that let us decide with a high likelihood of accuracy without having to consider all the options. The most important query and conundrum facing the average professional is pressed for time and has an addiction to speed. In an attempt to maximize productivity and response time, they constantly multitask and multithread. Our brain employs heuristics, or mental shortcuts, to achieve this. Put another way, our brain creates assumptions about things based on the assumption that any one apparent factor accurately represents the thing in an information-rich world where we are constantly faced with multiple choices.

Heuristics can help us solve problems and improve our decision-making process, but they can also lead to mistakes. It frequently results in incorrect conclusions based on how frequently things happen and how particular events affect our choices. Understanding that just because something has worked in the past doesn’t guarantee that it will do so again is crucial. It can be challenging to see alternatives or come up with new ideas when one is dependent on preexisting heuristics.