Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A.O.C.: Choosing with less pressure on being right

[The Art of Choosing]

By Danielle Hall

In chapter 7 of The Art of Choosing, Sheena Iyengar discusses the long-term effects of making difficult decisions, especially when we must assign value to people we love or become accountable for more than just our own quality of life. Under such circumstances, she points to how we often seek sources of "authority and expertise to alleviate the burden of a difficult decision" (236). 

One thing that stood out in this reading was the "cake and death" concept, that is a clear desirable answer vs. a non-desirable one. Iyengar notes, however, that two seemingly different choices can be rooted in a similar "psychological process" (217).

What particular useful insight did you gain from Iyengar's discussion of choice in this chapter? What made that idea or issue particularly useful?


Anonymous said...

I feel that the cake and death idea was a idea that I thought about a lot and I fell that stood out the most to me in this chapter. This idea stood out because of the fact that she said both the desired answer and the non desired answer have a lot in common. By that I mean the fact that we come to both those answers using similar thought patterns.
Sierra L.

Andriana C. said...

This section made me consider the psychological aspects of decision-making. this idea states that we can obtain a desired answer along with the non desired answer using similar thought processes. One would expect that the parts of our brain related to answer development and processing would be separate from the processes involved in compiling non desirable answers, since the mind seeks one and not the other, but they are quite similar.

C. S. said...

I believe that choices are more of a state of superposition rather than back and forth until that decision is made. I often feel this to be true when I have two choices. I chew on both choices weighing out all the options I have until I conclude which is best for the situation.
Physiologically it makes sense. The hippocampus and the frontal cortex are physically connected, and even more so when it is thinking. The hippocampus desires to process emotions and make “rational” decision through those feelings. While the frontal cortex desires to make rational decisions through reasoning, argumentation, and basic logic. I believe this physical condition makes it difficult to work through making a choice.

Lindsey McCall said...

Some insight I gained was that we have knowledge of both the desired and non desired answer, but we long for the desired. We basically avoid the non desired answer, rather than preparing for it.

Alexandra Donaldson said...

Susan's choice really stood out to me in this chapter. Knowing that as humans we can cope better with life and death decisions when we don't make the decisions ourselves is truly astonishing. We would rather the doctor's pull the plug than us to save us from guilt and resentment. It just shows that sometimes the feelings you experience from choices can be handled better when you don't make the decisions.