Haley Scholars Spring 2013 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?