Analysis Paralysis

Quick Definition: When newbies (and sometimes veterans) spend way too much time analyzing past sets instead of moving forward and gaining new experiences, either in pickup or in life.

Full Definition:

Taking time to reflect and analyze our past experiences is extremely important progress in game. But sometimes, too much analysis can be detrimental to progress. Analysis Paralysis in decision-making studies is a term used to describe when the cost of decision analysis exceeds the benefits that could be gained by reaching a decision. It can also refer to a situation where the sheer quantity of analysis far exceeds the decision-making process itself or any type of benefit from analysis of such a decision.

For example, if you haven’t eaten in a week, should you really spend three hours trying to decide what you want to eat? Probably not. The best outcome will come from action, rather than reflection. The same holds true in pickup.

Some newbies may spend all night debating whether he should have negged the HB8 to get to the HB9. These types of debrief discussions are usually helpful for 10-15 minutes from a few hours of fieldwork. This reflection can be positive when he comes to a decision and moves on to apply what he determined. However, Analysis Paralysis sets in when the newbie never moves on to try a new set. In some cases, it is better to move on to new sets and scenarios for the purposes of learning. The answer may reveal itself through a pattern later down the road.


New AFCs that often get approach anxiety often get analysis paralysis as well as rationalize why a set wasn’t approachable, where as a mPUA would have simply approached.

Related Terms: Field Experience, Field Report, Rationalization, Approach Anxiety, Debrief, Logistics, Group Theory, Newbie’s Paradox

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