Life decisions can be a bitch. Sweating it out over if you should move, rent or buy, propose, quit your job, or whatever else the world throws at you can be a significant source of stress. Researchers at the University of Chicago wanted to look at an alternative method of reaching these decisions…and found those who would be willing to leave it all to chance by flipping a coin.
To execute the study, they had people put together their own life questions. Then, before the coin flip, they were asked to have a third-party verify the outcome – “heads” means you get the tattoo, “tails” means you don’t. After the flip, those directly involved let fate take them into their next direction. Others simply made their decisions using their own brains, sweat, and stress.
Follow-up surveys were then taken to see how they felt about their decisions two and six months later. Those who took direction from the coin ended being happier with their decisions, and…in many cases…said they’d make the same decision if they had to do it again…without the coin. Professor Steven Levitt doesn’t want these findings to be interpreted as giving the go-ahead to just quit and let fate take over, however. Instead, Levitt says the best decision-making protocol should be choosing the path that represents “change, rather than continuing the status quo.”