Can't make up your mind? 'Sleep on it'
According to the study, doing something distracting, such as taking a nap, to take one's mind off the specifics of an option actually helps one to weigh up its pros and cons better.entertainment Updated: Apr 22, 2009 20:40 IST
Can't make up your mind? Just try a "nap" decision, says a new study.
Researchers at Tilburg University in the Netherlands have carried out the study and found that someone struggling with a big decision should "sleep on it" instead of taking a snap decision.
According to them, doing something distracting, such as taking a nap, to take one's mind off the specifics of an option actually helps one to weigh up its pros and cons better, the Daily Mail reported.
"Suppose you are choosing among several houses for sale. Such a choice typically involves large amounts of information with each alternative having its specific pros and cons.
"Advice that consumers often receive from others when making such complex decisions is 'let the information rest for a while' or 'sleep on it'. But is this advice helpful?" lead researcher Davy Lerouge was quoted as saying.
The researchers came to the conclusion after carrying out tests in which volunteers rated four different products.
The first group of participants was told to focus on their overall impression of the items. The second was asked to form a detailed picture, noting positive and negative features.
Part of each group was distracted with mental tasks. The people in the group that looked at overall impressions made more decisive product ratings after they were distracted. However, those in the second group looking at details found it harder to differentiate between the items, after distraction.
"I found that distraction only helps consumers who have clear good or bad views of a product. However, it does not help those who typically focus on the specific features of products and hold more mixed views," Dr Lerouge said.