Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A.O.C.: Zeroing in on Choices

Haley Scholars Fall 2012 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.

How did Iyengar's observations about the significance of "zeroing in" alter or strengthen your perspectives about the processes of making effective choices?


Nicholas M. said...

Lyengar's obersvsations about the significance of "zeroing in" strenghthened my prespective about the process of making effective choices. In the example of the San Francisco supermarket, Lyengar conducted a experiment to see if too much choice, or too little choice can impact sales. Lyengar found that with too much choice people often became mind-boggled and couldn't make a decision, but with limited choice people often made a decision.

I feel that it is much easier to narrow down or "zero in" to make an effective choice because you would be able to apply the process of elimatination much easier to a small assortment, whereas it would be much more difficult, if you didn't zero-in with a large assortment

Tiara Y. said...

Lyengar's obersvsations about the significance of "zeroing in" has not only strengthened my perspective of resultful decision making but has improved my ability to do so as well. Often times when one has a choice consisting of several options all varying from productive and effective to counterproductive choices, chances are they will choose what seems most appealing. For instance there are a number of things that an student can do instead of studying. It takes discipline and the ability to "zero in" on what is most salient.

Brenda W. said...

Iyengar's observations about the significance of zeroing in when making effective choices strengthened my perspective. Growing up, I always functioned on the idea of the more options, the better. But slowly and surely I have realized in various aspects of my life that this does not always play to my advantage, and Iyengar confirmed it. The more options, the more mental effort and stress I see. With simple things like food and clothing, when I have several options and choices it takes me years to select what to wear or what to eat. But when I have a limited selection, I move more efficiently and make wiser decisions because I am not overwhelmed by the process of choosing. Iyengar strengthened my perspective by showing me how to carry this concept into making wiser choices that affect my future.