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Faculty Insights

The Power of Choice: What WSB Research Says About Decision-Making

By Clare Becker

July 31, 2019

An illustration depicting a man thinking about many different choices he could make.

Ever wonder if you’re making the right decision?

When it comes to making choices, there’s no shortage of popular (and contradictory) advice out there: Trust your instincts. Think it over. Don’t overthink it. Not making a choice is a choice. Never make decisions based on fear. Don’t second-guess yourself. Sleep on it.

From selecting health insurance plans to deciding when to hire help with the kids, Wisconsin School of Business faculty have looked at the nature of choice and how we go about making decisions.

Here’s what some of our faculty have to say about making decisions big and small:

Seized by FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? Take heart. Research by Assistant Professor Liad Weiss suggests that while social media-induced anxiety makes us erroneously think we can have it all, it can also propel us to take action in our own lives.

Parenthood today can feel like a non-stop juggling act. Associate Professor Amber Epp looks at how parents make decisions about what parenting tasks they want to “outsource” to professionals or other family members and which ones they want to keep for themselves.

Sorting through your employee health plan can be mind-boggling. Associate Professor Justin Sydnor explores how we can dampen that glazed-over feeling by making solid insurance choices for the most value.

There may be more than a physical tradeoff to eating those onion rings. Professor Margie Rosenberg researches how key lifestyle choices—physical inactivity, smoking, heavy drinking, and sleep deficits—impact not only our physical bodies, but also how we perceive our own health status (hint: it’s poor).

For more insights from WSB faculty, visit our Forward Thinking Faculty Blog.