Strive to “satisfice”

Satisficing is defined (by Wikipedia) as “the decision-making strategy or cognitive heuristic that entails searching through available alternatives until an acceptability threshold is met.”

My cognitive psychology professor explained this as forming a comfortable decision or appraisal that is “good enough” as opposed to searching through all information in order to make a decision- (satisficing would be examining every single mate alternative possible before settling down with one person). Obviously this has severe consequences (effort, time, ETC). But some people strive to sift through all information or alternatives before settling (me at the ice cream shop- legitimately inspect every single flavour in the store before [once again] choosing cookies n’ cream)- the terms “psychological disorder” and “psychopathy” were actually used when describing people who need to do this AT ALL TIMES in all situations and I seriously feared my sanity for a moment.

Thankfully I know I am not (entirely) crazy, as I then began to think of instances where I can happily accept things without seeking every possible alternative (friendships, clothing, etc). But sometimes I really do focus FAR too much energy on this. To give you some insight on this.. today when I walked into my usual study area at my university, I noticed how many available seats there were and immediately examined the pros and cons of each possible seat. I couldn’t just settle on the one in closest proximity I actually considered the comfort and convenience of each seat. I am not kidding.. maybe this is part of my OCD, maybe I just need to STRIVE FOR SATISFICING.

(My prof also explain how the striving for satisficing is the optimal way to be. I thought of it as a cost-benefit analysis. Google that if you aren’t following.)

So yeah.. there you have it.

Side note: never thought I would be actually learning about concepts I spend so much time pondering about and wonder if anyone has ever considered the same thing. Now I discover these concepts have names and evidence-based practice (WHAT!?). These famous dudes study them… like Herbert Simon (dude who coined the term satisfciing in 1956) and I actually at one point shared a similar thought (not really but let me rejoice). In fact, I bet there are theories and experiments ABOUT how people wonder if other people have the same thoughts as them.

Side note 2: I just googled “people wondering if other people have same thoughts as them” to see if some theory would come up and the first 2 links were for OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (I guess my original thought was correct hahaa).

Heading into another fun lecture so I have no time to read that over but I hope you learned something cool

– Dose of Delight


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