Given the volume of information that is available, many decision makers have a tendency to seek more information than required to make a good decision. When too much information is sought and obtained, one or more of several problems can arise:

  1. A delay in the decision occurs because of the time required to obtain and process the extra information, possibly impairing the effectiveness of the decision or solution.
  2. Information overload will occur. In this state, so much information is available that decision-making ability actually declines because the information in its entirety can no longer be managed or assessed appropriately.
  3. Selective use of the information will occur. If there is too much information available the decision maker is vulnerable to choosing the wrong information to form their decision, or look for information that supports a preconceived solution or position.
  4. Mental fatigue occurs, which results in slower work or poor quality work.
  5. Decision fatigue occurs, where the decision maker tires of making decisions. Often the result is fast, careless decisions or even decision paralysis, that is, no decisions are made at all.

In order to identify the most appropriate information, the decision maker should look for the following attributes: Timeliness, Context, Relevance, Validity.