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Improving Your Decision-Making Skills May Improve Your Quality of Life

If you have good decision-making skills you tend to have a better quality of life -- according to a study by decision scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the RAND Corporation -- because the decisions you make have more outcomes that are positive.

In the study, 360 people with diverse backgrounds completed tasks that measured “Adult Decision-Making Competence” to rate their ability to avoid common errors when making decisions. Good decision makers are able to decide which choice is best regardless of how the information is presented or slanted.

Turns out intelligence isn’t everything when it comes to making good decisions, as they found that decision-making is a separate skill from verbal and nonverbal intelligence. Cognitive ability and socio-economic status also doesn’t have much to do with your ability to make good choices, which is good news, since decision-making skills can be taught and improved upon.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology May 2007;92(5):938-56