Outsourcing thinking

Maximize your happiness by building a life that requires fewer decisions, says neuroscientist Moran Cerf. Why it is sometimes worthwhile to let others decide and how a chip in our heads could boost efficency, he explains in a TED Talk.
27 July, 2018 by
Das Denken outsourcen
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Decision-making is a strenuous and energy-intensive process. We could save a lot of energy, if we counted on other people in our social group to help us make decisions, says Moran Cerf, a neuroscientist at the Kellogg School of Management in Evanstone. His neuroscientific studies have shown that the brain waves of two different persons begin to resemble one another when those persons spend time together. After a while, they become almost identical – they are literally on the same wavelength. The idea is already familiar to us from everyday life: negative people bring us down and positive people inspire us. Cerf’s conclusion: you can maximize your happiness by building a life that demands fewer decisions.

Delegating small decisions, for example choosing a restaurant, to other people can help us in many areas of life, regardless of whether we want to do more sport, watch less television or become more sociable. Cerf's thoughts go even further: if we implanted chips into our brain, we could outsource our thinking. This would allow us not only to pass on decisions, but also things we are not good at, for example, to computers, which would then solve them for us. Cerf explains in the video how this technology could also make our lives healthier:

Read more about the new technologies of happiness in the GDI study “Wellness 2030”.

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