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John Tierney discusses "decision fatigue," by which people gradually become worn out from having to make decisions. "The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts," he writes. People typically respond to decision fatigue either by becoming reckless or by doing nothing. Research indicates that people have a limited supply of willpower; executing decisions saps that willpower by requiring people to expend mental energy. When people experience decision fatigue, they become more likely to give in to impulse and vulnerable to pushy salespeople. Decision fatigue is a factor keeping people trapped in poverty, Tierney writes, because poor people constantly have to make choices based upon their limited financial resources; this steals energy and focus away from long-term goal-setting. It can also lead to poor choices in terms of diet and behavior.
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