[The Art of Choosing]
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?
This chapter really caused me to evaluate the weight I put on my own personal choices and the time and energy I put into certain aspects of my life. It also forced me to take a step back and realize how much I expect others to yield to my personal desires. I expect to be given things and not to earn them. I expect to have rights and privileges that may not be allotted to me without being earned. I expect for my opinion to be right and subconsciously think that my opinion is more valid. It is a sad, but very accurate reality that I have found to be true within myself. I am so absorbed with the idea that I could and should get what I want and for my beliefs to be validated.
And although the chapter tried to point out factors and influences that prime us, I feel as though I took much more from the chapter than the points given.
Chapter 5 really allowed me to make a connection with my studies. I am taking an interpersonal communication course, and we are learning about how our culture, gender, and surroundings affect our decision making when it comes to communicating with others. This chapter sort of broadens that idea that it affects all of our decision making! This made me think about the real reason I make the decision I do. Also, I question is this really the decision I want to make, or the decision that my surroundings are forcing me to make.
I found Chapter 5 interesting because it made me think about why I have made past decisions of mine. Was it by my own shear choice, or were my actions influenced by an outside force. I often do let others make my decisions for me because I believe, for some reason, that they will lead me down a path I could not do myself. This chapter made me consider myself more as a puppet or something made to take orders than an individual with values.
In chapter five, the discussions on choices made me think about all the big events that happened in my life, the choices that got me there, and how I was effected by other factors without fully seeing that at the time. This chapter made me reflex on how oblivious I was in certain aspects and how I can better my choices by taking everything into account when I make choices in the future. I am the type of person who loves for things to go my way so even if the best outcome factors do not occur for me, I will make that decision anyway just to have what I want.
Chapter 5 was very influential for me. It made me reevaluate a lot of choices in my life. I had to really think if I had made the choices or if I allowed others to make my choices for me. I think it was so influential because I often do allow the opinions and actions of others to make my decisions for me unknowingly, and in the future I don't want to do that. This chapter was really an eye opener for me.
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