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Thought Stack: Design Principles, Mental Models, & Cognitive Biases

Jun 12, 2017

How do we know when we should put in the effort to make the best choice, product, or decision, versus picking something that is simply “good enough?”

The answer is the mental model of maximizing vs. satisficing.

We Have Too Many Options for Unimportant Things

In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz notes that as our options for every aspect of our lives have increased, so has the cognitive load of making decisions in everyday life.

It wasn’t hard to choose a shampoo 100 years ago — there were probably 5 brands. Now, you have an aisle of 100+ options to choose from. If you’re a maximizer at heart (like me), this abundance of choice will prompt you to spend a great deal of time evaluating the best shampoo for you.

Learn how to switch from over-analyzing all of your life decisions, which wastes mental energy, by satisficing those that aren't critical to your happiness.

Read the complimentary article at