Saturday, March 15, 2008

Information - Acquisition Versus Analysis

Why We're Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data by Lee Gomes of The Wall Street Journal shares the findings of Dr. Irving Biederman. In his research, Dr. Biederman found that "new and richly interpretable information triggers a chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turn causes us to seek out even more of it." Dr. Biederman's findings could explain why the Internet has such appeal. Our brains are hardwired to want new information and the Internet is an abundant source that is easy to access.

This story resonated with me since I see myself falling into the trap of information acquisition over information analysis. Information acquisition makes my brain feel good. Watching the stock market via the Internet is fun, entertaining and makes for good stories. I love checking the stock market status constantly throughout day. On the other hand, information analysis can make my brain feel tired. Sorting through data, converting information to knowledge and then taking action for complex projects is hard work.

A personal challenge is to get the right balance of acquisition versus analysis. Right now I am skewed towards information acquisition in a couple of my focus areas. For my dream job, I think I need to invest more time in information analysis. For my stock investments, I think I need to reduce the time spent on information acquisition. Intuitively, I knew I needed to make these changes. Why We're Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data helped me to better understand why I may be resisting the change:-)

For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


Kristin said...

Yes, this behavior is easy to find in all of us. It's why I want to spend more time checking my portfolio than researching equities. And why I keep checking sitemeter instead of writing posts!

Just being aware of the behavior should help us to limit our excessive patterns.

Stephen Oakes said...

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