These experiments all highlight the same psychological trap. People view the mind as a rational arbiter, assuming that they and others will withhold judgment until they finish flipping through all the evidence. But the mind isn’t just a passive information processor; it’s also emotional. In reality, once people begin to experience that evidence in real time, they will inevitably react to it as they go along. We won’t need to see later information if we already love or hate the very first piece.


kleinbl00:

Tversky and Kahneman first studied the paradox of choice in '79. Ariely built on it for half his career. The psychological argument is that when we have a lot of choices we have to evaluate all those choices and evolutionarily, we're driven to answer questions quickly for the sake of survival.

What I don't like about this analysis is it is framed in terms of "make your decision" rather than "how we make decisions." for example:

    How many good performances would convince you that you have hired the right person?

That's an evaluation made every day, over and over again. It's not appropriate to describe it as a one-and-done.

I also don't like how the universe is being shaped to fit the study:

    People view the mind as a rational arbiter, assuming that they and others will withhold judgment until they finish flipping through all the evidence.

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression" certainly hasn't been an aphorism since the Farmer's Almanac or anything.

Yes, we use less information to make decisions than we think. There was a Nobel Prize in Economics for this. We also remake those decisions frequently with new information. For better or worse, we also have an ownership bias - if we possess it, we like it more - and a sour grapes bias, whereby if we didn't decide on it we reinforce our decision with any new information.

All of which makes for a more nuanced and complicated situation than a B-school associate professor is willing to admit.


posted by rezzeJ: 168 days ago