I read an article recently: http://www.newsweek.com/2011/02/27/i-can-t-think.html, and the conclusions there seemed right on the money to me. The researchers quoted found that giving a person too much information (TMI) actually shuts off the analytical centers of pre-frontal cortex and makes a person take a hasty, emotion-based decision leading to (objectively) poor choices.
Personally, I have always been an advocate of “let the info percolate” principle. According to this, when solving a problem or musing over issues, one simply grasps the information with no intention of making an immediate decision. The information is gathered just because it should. Once the info enters the brain, one simply lets it be and forgets about it (Netflix, Hulu and Books are great distractors), until the solution suggests itself to one. It seems that such sub-conscious thinking is exactly what makes the right decisions (according to the researchers) — a conclusion that I heartily second.
It has always seemed to me that much of the choices that we make are not governed by an overt analysis of the various pros and cons but a “gut” feeling — something that tells you what to do. More often than not, this “gut” instinct gets it right! My take on it is slightly more philosophical — I have a theory (obviously not original) that as long as man distances himself from the I-ness of decision making, he makes the right decisions; as soon as one thinks that one is in control and tries to make conscious efforts at choice, one is screwed. As they say, do your duty and the rewards shall rain down on their own! 😉