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Research suggests why you could be making poor decisions

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Fizza Kazim
Fizza Kazim
Fizza Kazim is a final year Bachelor's student in Psychology at COMSATS University, Islamabad. An enthusiastic writer and anime painter, she has strongly dedicated herself to bringing mental health awareness and has participated in numerous mental health and illness programs. She has also worked for multiple organizations to promote psychological issues.

A recent research conducted by the researchers at Cambridge demonstrates that you make poor decisions because you overlook the total value of an event or experience and over-emphasize its end.

What shapes how you remember an event/experience is how your brain values it.

Your last negative experience is the determining factor that decides whether or not you would like for an event to happen again and how you would remember it. These negative experiences blur the early positive memories of an event. This phenomenon is related to the inter-working mechanism of your brain.

The research published in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that concentrating on the ending of an event may result from how your brain encodes the value and temporal profile of that experience/event. Your brain has the ability to keep track of experiences and their meanings as well as how these meanings evolve with time; over-emphasizing, particularly on the ending, will result in poor decision-making.

A computational model developed by the researcher duo Martin Vestergaard and Wolfram Schultz clarified functional MRI recordings. The sample included 27 males. They were given the task of choosing between two streams of coins. The coins varied in size; the bigger the coin, the bigger its value. The model uncovered a disparity between the genuine value of the experience. Members despised when the coins diminished in size, regardless of whether the stream was generally worth more coins. This resulted in participants making wrong decisions.

The results of the study show that the amygdala was responsible for accurately encoding the overall value of an experience. In contrast, the anterior insula of your brain marks down the overall value of an experience if the experience includes a series of negative events.

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