The Evil of Banality: When Choosing Between the Mundane Feels Like Choosing Between the Worst

@article{Shenhav2018TheEO,
  title={The Evil of Banality: When Choosing Between the Mundane Feels Like Choosing Between the Worst},
  author={A. Shenhav and C. D. Dean Wolf and U. Karmarkar},
  journal={Journal of Experimental Psychology: General},
  year={2018},
  volume={147},
  pages={1892–1904}
}
Our most important decisions often provoke the greatest anxiety, whether we seek the better of two prizes or the lesser of two evils. Yet many of our choices are more mundane, such as selecting from a slate of mediocre but acceptable restaurants. Previous research suggests that choices of decreasing value should provoke decreasing anxiety. Here we show that this is not the case. Across three behavioral studies and one fMRI study, we find that anxiety and its neural correlates demonstrate a U… Expand
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