Haley Scholars Fall 2012 Reading Groups
By Danielle Hall
In the second part of chapter 7 of The Art of Choosing, Sheena Iyengar discusses the ways that decisions made out of "suspicion or fear" may cause more damage in the long run (237). Put differently, some of the worst or least informed decisions happen when one must confront unattractive choices. Avoiding complex choices is usually what leads one to being "caught between a rock and a hard place." Iyengar warns that ignoring unattractive choices, or choosing not to choose, is problematic and potentially harmful.
Something of note is how the concept of restrictive choice, which we discussed previously in chapter 6, resurfaces again throughout this chapter. Again, Iyengar urges readers to consider the benefits of letting go and reminds us that there are other options available to us that can help alleviate the pressures of choosing and yield positive outcomes (240 & 254-55).
Based on the reading, what new or notable insight did you gain concerning the idea of limiting our choices?
Choice has worth rather than value is the notable insight that I gained concerning the idea of limiting our choices. This was notable to me because it was interesting to see the author described how choice is a basic necessity for human well-being (243). The author describes how when we don’t have a choice when others do we get upset. Although, if not having a choice is the norm than we might not get upset. I found this to be true about how humans insist on our right to choose when it is taken away.
A notable insight that I gained by reading Chapter 7 is the use of “services and devices” as a way of limiting our choices. By deciding to precommit to these services and devices, individuals are more likely to thoroughly consider choices. As Sheena Iyengar discussed, individuals can impose penalties on poor choices. Iyengar’s example that included Dean Karlan and stickK.com, which serves as a commitment store for advocating weight lost, is just one of many options for precommitment that appears to work. This strategy is one that can definitely be utilized more in today’s society.
I found that when our choices are limited or taken away completely, we do not care if the other choices were wrong, we do not like being limited. People view having the ability to choose always as more positive even if having that ability hurts us in the long run. Also when we make our own choices we feel more obligated than if someone else was to make them for us; as if each choice measures our own level of personal success. More importantly, if sometimes we let our beliefs go we may gain more. Often times our beliefs about the choices we make hinder us from getting better outcomes.
THe notable insight I gained when reading chapter 7 is that choice has worth rather than value. Choices are definitely a basic necessity concerning human beings. Without it we feel like someone else is controlling our lives. Eventually the feeling becomes overwhelming and we begin to make choices that are truely satisfying.
Reading this chapter the idea that stuck out to me was how as people we like to have more than one choice even if only one choice is the correct choice we still like the option of having options.
Without revealing too much, this made me reminisce about growing up on the south side of Chicago. There choices truly had, and still does, consequences. Many a situation saw wait until all options were pretty much expired and whatever was left was my “choice”. When it came to critical choices that had great effect on my life, by not choosing, I essentially choose wrong. Hell of a lesson. Because of the cleanup process that came about because bad chooses I am very prudent in my choices/decision today.
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