Why Stress Leads Us to Make Bad Decisions and Do Stupid Things

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Researches at MIT have theorized that if people are stressed out they are more likely to make stupid choices. It is being suggested that if they have had a stressful day that they are more likely to make a bad choice versus a day when they weren’t under as much stress. The researches found this out after testing mice in a maze. The stressed subjects made bad decisions to get good rewards and the less stressed made good choices. This is how they think addictive personalities may work. The researches also found out they could make the mice more impulsive by triggering a circuit in the brain. Now they are wondering if they can make them less impulsive and do the same for humans.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stress is often distracting, but new research confirms that the ability to make rational decisions is affected by it.
  • A scientific study used mice to explore their decision making while stressed or not, and found that under stress they made riskier choices.
  • The research also found certain neural pathways in the prefrontal cortex linked to impulse control were affected by stress.

“People who suffer from addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder sometimes experience impulsiveness and difficulty making rational decisions.”

Read more: http://www.newsweek.com/why-stress-leads-us-make-bad-decisions-and-do-stupid-things-715638