Have you ever experienced standing in a queue moving very slowly and then when you change to the quicker one, to your utter dismay and misfortune find out the one you were in earlier, becoming faster now?
Or, you decide to buy a mobile and immediately after you have bought it, your friend/s shows off their mobile, which you now strongly feel to be much better in terms of both, value for money and features when compared to yours.
Life on a whole is just a compilation of small / big decisions we continue to take, sometimes quickly and at times mulling over, ruminating for eternity.
Research in the area of decision making though brings up an interesting statistic.
Those who choose based on limited information or data which is vague tend to use their intuition more than logic and are generally happier with their decisions than the ones who think a lot, compare, try and use reasoning and absolute data points to come to a final conclusion.
Post purchase dissonance
Also, most of us experience something called post purchase dissonance.
A feeling or rather a doubt on our own ability in making the right decision about our purchase.
According to researchers this happens because shoppers did not get enough information or were not emotionally satisfied with what they bought. Even if they could get a validation from the store staff or someone they know, the dissonance will be lesser or even vanish.
That’s why we see most people accompanied by someone, usually somebody they trust, when buying something.
Or smart staff members in the good stores would always appreciate your choice especially the cashiers, as that’s the area where you exchange your money for the product bought.
A quick validation of our choice results in release of neurotransmitters (endorphins) making us feel better about our decision.
Another paradox in decision making is the paradox of choice.
Generally, we feel we need more choices to make a better decision.
Intuitively our thought is, the more the number of choices, the better we feel.
However, research also debunked this myth, when people who had to choose fruit jam, were happier with their choice, when the options were limited compared to when they were spoilt for choice.
A menu with lesser items or with easy to remember names or familiar products generally leads to better sales than the one which is complicated with tongue twister names assigned to items offered for sale.
So, if you are in food business, the basic rule of – keep it simple mostly works.
Now, coming back to – ‘why my queue is slower’
Albert Einstein told us time is relative. Imagine how it flew by in the company of a lover you meet after a long time and how it cease to pass when waiting for him/her.
Time for us slows down when we are bored or thinking about the time itself, so for us our queue will always appear to move slower.
I also use to feel trapped in a slower queue, and then after reading about some research on this topic, decided to try out a simple experiment.
I counted the number of people standing in front of me while getting inside the airport and chose my counterpart or my competitor, following the same number of people in another queue, to see who reaches the security gate first.
Any guesses who reached first?
Well, I played it like a game and enjoyed it (so instead of focusing on the time, I was focusing on who amongst us reaches the gate first), my queue which in normal days would appear to move slower, was actually moving faster as I won by ‘two people’.
When I crossed the gates, he was still following two individuals (poor chap didn’t even know he lost a race)
My queue even had two elderly citizens and a family, but I still somehow reached before him, if not playing this game, I would have surely switched my lane. But after clearing security, I realized I made ‘The Right Decision’.
And now it was time for boarding, so another queue and I quickly picked my competitor.
The new game begins …
The game still carries on as I have learned to enjoy standing in a queue now (though not always)
Have you also ever played a game like this, would love to read about your experience!!