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According to a study, managers can make decisions faster
When executives make decisions, they are more time efficient than other people. This was the result of an investigation by the Research Center Jülich. Accordingly, a certain brain region helps to store knowledge in a categorized manner and to call it up automatically in similar situations.
Managers make decisions based on past experience Every day, people make countless decisions. A neural network is activated in which the parietal lobe first processes all sensory perceptions and then passes them on to the prefrontal cortex, which acts as a control center for all actions and links the signals with the existing knowledge of similar problems. The stored information can relate to the memory of a certain successful procedure or to the emotional assessment of past situations. The motivation to tackle the problem also plays a role. It is assessed and compared with the current condition. Only then will the brain make a decision.
Managers and executives must be able to make decisions particularly quickly and effectively. Scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich, together with business psychologists and sociologists from the University of Cologne, investigated whether other neuronal networks in the brain are activated than in people without a managerial position. Their results were published in the "PLoS ONE" journal.
Managers activate specific brain region for time-efficient decisions Svenja Caspers and her team examined 35 managers from different industries and a comparison group of employees without a managerial position, who matched the managers in terms of age, intelligence and gender. In the magnetic resonance tomograph (fMRI), the test subjects had to make a total of 540 decisions within 22 minutes. "Within two seconds, the test subjects had to choose a term from a pair of words such as 'teamwork' or 'success' or 'power' or 'loyalty'," explains Caspers, explaining an example task. "With this wealth of decisions and time constraints, we wanted to do it on an experimental level reproduce the decision-making density of managers, "reports the neuroscientist.
As it turned out, the groups activated different decision systems within a network in the brain that is activated by all people in these processes. The executives showed a clear activity in the caudate nucleus, the so-called tail core, while the non-managers mainly used other regions within the network, which make decisions gradually and therefore take a little longer. The tail core builds categorized knowledge within the decision-making network, which is then automatically called up in similar situations. Decisions are therefore made more efficiently and in a more timely manner.
However, it is still unclear whether the resource-efficient way of making decisions was trained by the managers or whether it is part of the personality due to socialization. “People are shaped in their personality from birth. This question could therefore only be clarified in the context of a long-term study, "explains Caspers. The researchers were also unable to answer the question about the quality of the decisions. (Ag)
Image: Juergen Jotzo / pixelio.de