Haley Scholar Reading Groups
By Danielle Hall
In the first section of chapter 6 of The Art of Choosing, Sheena Iyengar addresses a few key phrases related to making better choices such as "zeroing in," "simplifying,” or "making a distinction between." She encourages us to think about how having less options often sets the tone for better and sometimes wiser decisions (192-93).
Iyengar's discussion of how skilled chess players consider “only the most viable tactics" in order to "plan multiple moves in advance with relatively little mental effort” resembles the old adage about “playing smarter, not harder” to win. Iyengar notes that “experts can simplify their own choices, which in turn allows them to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by more choice” (193). By contrast, novices need assistance simplifying choices.
Iyengar’s ideas might assist us in becoming more aware of how our respective fields of study lead us to develop expertise in eliminating excess options. What is one way that your major has prepared you to simplify choices or multiple alternatives? Why is the ability to simplify in that way important?