Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A.O.C.: Songs of Ourselves - Chapter 3

Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups

By Danielle Hall

In Sheena Iyengar's The Art of Choosing, each section of chapter 3 expounds on notions of dissonance and the earlier concept of collective choices. The chapter title bears the name of Walt Whitman's poem "Song of Myself."

At one point, Iyengar discusses the parallels between Whitman's rhetoric of self contradiction as an organic and multi-layered concept. She suggests that ours is more complex when we are unable to or less likely to find balance or reconciliation within our multidimensional selves. Here, she states that many people enter into a state of "cognitive dissonance" when caught between conflicting forces, which are typically our beliefs and actions (97-98).

Even at the core of what we consider to be our own unique qualities and individualisms or what we understand about our path to self discovery are in fact interconnected by both internal and external relationships. Those relationships are related to what we believe about ourselves, the manifestation of our actions, and societal perceptions of who we are. These ideas, more or less, are malleable as we change and develop over time or on a daily basis, with whom and how we interact and navigate throughout various spaces or settings.

What are your responses to chapter 3, especially the idea of cognitive dissonance, the need to "create a consistent story about who we are," or "the evolution of choosing" as it relates to individual or collective decisions?


Jacqueline C. said...

In chapter 3, Iyengar made valid points of how people constantly change the story of who they are as individuals. People do in fact, want to feel unique from others but not to the point where they are an outsider because then they would feel isolated.A huge part of us still wants to be a part of a group and feel belonging.Our characters are molded based off internal/external influences and what we allow to have an impact on us has to do solely with "choice."

breon anderson said...

in chapter 3 they do point out how people makes things up in stories about themselves. I see this all the time with different people to make things that may not be so interesting more intriguing. sometimes because they fell left out and fell they need to input something to fill in the group.

Wole Abraham said...

In chapter 3, Iyengar discusses how people want to be different. I know this personally cause I see it in our time today. Everyone wants to be different and unique in their own way, but not too off of the spectrum where they will be labeled as weird or different. Although we want to be different a part of us still wants to fit in into a group.

Jenee' B. said...

It was very interesting when Lyengar discussed the "evolution of choosing". She explained how long ago people chose to conform and act a certain way for the greater good of family and the community. But, as time went on and people became more efficient, they had more freedom and were able to became more independent. Soon it was a goal to be different and not blend into the crowd. The way she describes how this happened was new to me, and it was interesting to learn some of the reasons people have changed and became more individualistic.

Mariah B. said...

In chapter 3, Iyengar talks about how people want to be different in their own way and not do what everyone else does just to fit in. I agree with that, because I am just like that. I don't do something just because other people are doing it. Even though this is how people want to be, it's not that easy. Some people care about being more popular than doing what they actually want to do or what they know is right.