Wednesday, October 17, 2012
A.O.C.: Values & Choice
Haley Scholars Fall 2012 Reading Groups
By Danielle Hall
As we’ve been reading each chapter of The Art of Choosing, we have had many opportunities to contemplate and discuss the complex processes involved in making decisions. However, I found chapter 5 “I, Robot?” particularly interesting because Iyengar identified the ways that our choices are often “manipulated” by external factors beyond our control. Some of the noted examples from the chapter were the “Ballet Slippers” vs. “Adore-A-Ball” nail polish samples in “Neutral Observer,” color and trend predictions of fashion designers and retailers in “You Say Chicken, I Say Egg,” and bottled water vs. tap in “There Is A Difference.”
According o Iyengar, "we tend to put choice on a pedestal, so much so that we expect to be able to bend everything to our will." However, she notes, "we would serve ourselves better by separating the influences that conflict with our values from the influences that are basically harmless" (175).
What did you find most useful about the discussion of values and choice in chapter 5? Why and how so?
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When Lyengar discussed the ways that our choices are often "manipulated" by external factors beyond our control, I found to be most useful in the discussion of values and choice. The example of the two nail polishes that were indistinguishable by color,but when the name were revealed, there was a difference, which shows that individuals evaluate at the entire "package" when making a choice.
What i found most interesting in chapter 5, was the question that Lyengar concluded from her studies "can we really trust our senses and the choices we make based on them?" My answer to that question would be no because in the example of the nail polish the majority of people made there choice based on the name, even though the colors were virtually the same.
What I found most useful about the discussion of value and choice in Chapter 5 was the reality of Iyengar's statements and examples. This chapter, just like chapter 3, made me reevaluate myself. I know I sometimes am a victim of "brand" when it comes to decision making. When she gave the nail polish example I felt as if she were speaking directly to me. Society makes brand seem so important when in reality I would choose the cheaper more comfortable option if it were not for outside influences. Following trends may be age appropriate for a 19 year old but how can I ever expect to be a leader if I choose to follow?
Iyengar is teaching me that there truly is an art to choosing and the choices I make now determine and reflect who I am and who I will be as an individual.
The fact that the examples were ones that I could actually relate to is what I found most useful. It's one thing to be able to understand a certain view but when you can completely relate it makes it that much more real. Especially with the nail polish example, because I had this same type of discussion with some of my co-workers. I typically do buy brand name products not just because of the name but you usually get what you pay for, so in some instances I don't mind spending a few extra dollars if the quality is great. But this chapter alone did shine a light on decision making in society.
What I found most useful is the way our perception on things can alter the decisions we make after some aspect is brought to our attention. This grasped my focus the most because it is the most relevant to my everyday life. Friends, family, or the manicurist can greatly effect the outcome of certain situations I'm in, whether large or small.
What I found interesting, pertaining to Lyengar's text, is that people tend to be captivated by the name/status of a items than the quality/substance of that particular object. For example, millions of people were and still are doing what they can to get their hands on the new iphone 5. Majority of the purchasers already possessing a cellular device that is still working efficiently.
Lyengar's text holds true and helps people, including myself, to evaluate and question our motives/decisions in everyday life. Am I authentic or am I just a duplicate?
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