Sunday, May 29, 2016

Information overload..........................part three

     "We've found this in dozens of settings," said Martin Eppler, a professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland who studies information overload.  "The quality of people's decisions generally gets better as they receive more relevant information.  But then their brain reaches a breaking point when the data becomes too much.  They start ignoring options or making bad choices or stop interacting with the information completely."
     Information blindness occurs because of the way our brain's capacity for learning has evolved.  Humans are exceptionally good at absorbing information - as long as we can break data into a series of smaller and smaller pieces.  This process is know as "winnowing" or "scaffolding."  Mental scaffolds are like file cabinets filled with folders that help us store and access information when the need arises...
     "Our brains crave reducing things to two or three options," said Eric Johnson, a cognitive psychologist at Columbia University who studies decision making.  "So when we're faced with a lot of information, we start automatically arranging it into mental folders and subfolders and sub-subfolders."

-Charles Duhigg,  Faster Smarter Better:  The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

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