Haley Scholars Fall 2012 Reading Groups
By Danielle Hall
In the second part of chapter 6 of The Art of Choosing, Sheena Iyengar discusses the advantages and disadvantages of “keeping doors open” (201). Iyengar makes some useful connections throughout this section. More notably is the link between creativity and the practice of restrictive choice where she concludes that “creative disciplines” are where we can look "for guidance” (214).
Iyengar discusses how inventors and artists now come to know the value of restrictive choice(s) and while some boundaries are broken, newer ones can still be defined. One concept that is useful to consider is Iyengar’s proposition that “to choose is to invent,” by which she means that "choosing is a creative process, one through which we construct our environment, our lives, our selves" (213).
Which idea -- "restrictive choice" or choosing as a creative process -- drew your attention most? Why?
I feel Restrictive Choice drew my attention the most because i feel everyday we make a restrictive choice whether it is in class or in a workplace and when we made the choice we did not think of it as a restrictive choice we thought of it as an intuitive choice. Because when we make choices about what we want to do concerning work or classes, we try to see the decision from all aspects and then we make a final decision but we try to get an in depth understanding of our main choice before actually choosing that choice.
The idea of “choosing is a creative process” caught my eye the most, rather than the idea of restrictive choice. Perhaps this is primarily, because I can relate to the first idea more so than the second and have known it to be true.
When choosing, it is a creative process because you are constantly thinking of options and revising your original thoughts, just as an artist or musician does when creating a picture or writing music. You must consider all the options and outcomes. Then you must weigh which outcomes will be beneficial based on the given choice, as well as which ones will result in less benefits in the long run.
I feel that restrictive choice caught my attention the most. Everyday we make decisions that are based off of "restrictions". In the book Iyengar said that if it were not for restrictions on jazz music, than it might just sound like noise. If we made decisions that did not have restrictions than I believe that our lives would in fact be chaotic. When making a choice all aspects of life should be considered.
The idea of restrictive choice was the most interesting aspect of this particular chapter. According to Sheena Iyengar, “When we choose, we rely on many of the aforementioned processing skills” (183). I can relate to this statement because when I do consider options, I take several aspects into account and then choose an option. However when we make choices, we do not acknowledge that our choices are restricted but rather overlook an “interesting facet of choice” (183).
As a parent, I truly understand the concept of restrictive choices. I impose them on my children all the time. I tell my kids they have the power of choice and if they choose wrong they have to suffer the consequences. That said, we can apply that same concept to being an adult. Those in power provide options to people in subordinate positions, and at time those options may not contain any choice at all. This is more common than people would like to admit. We all would like to think that we are in control of our own lives and therefore the decisions that affect our lives. How untrue.
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