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Choice

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An examination of what drives us to choices, how we choose options, and how to be happy with our choices. Based on psychologists and behavioral economists such as Dan Pink, Dan Ariely, and Dan …

An examination of what drives us to choices, how we choose options, and how to be happy with our choices. Based on psychologists and behavioral economists such as Dan Pink, Dan Ariely, and Dan Gilbert.

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  • 1. ChoiceForesight, Hindsight & Happiness
    Erik Ralston
    BIS Birds of a Feather
    January 20th, 2011
    1
  • 2. Sources
    Dan Pink – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motives Use
    2
    Dan Ariely – Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our DecisionsProfessor Duke University
    Dan Gilbert – Professor at Harvard University
  • 3. Sources
    3
    Malcolm Gladwell – Blink and Outliers
    Barry Schwartz –The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less
    Sheena Iyengar – Professor at Columbia University
  • 4. Do I Make My Own Choices?(Do I Have Free Will?)
    4
  • 5. The Power of Defaults
    5
  • 6. What drives Choices?
    6
  • 7. Motivation!
    The Drive to Decide
    Excluding genuine need (or marketing), we need rewards
    Extrinsic Rewards are the most common motivators
    Better Pay = Better Work? Only for basic tasks, for complex tasks one must rely on…
    7
  • 8. Autonomy
    8
    Freedom to choose of all options
  • 9. Mastery
    9
    A challenge that culminates in achievement
  • 10. Purpose
    10
    Importance and high impact consequences
  • 11. A.M.P. it UP!
    A.M.P. is better than any external motivator
    A.M.P. is best harnessed in hobbies and startups
    Are intrinsic motivators possible at work? Not usually…
    Management prevents Autonomy
    Efficiency prevents Mastery
    Interchangeability prevents Purpose
    11
  • 12. What Can I Choose?
    12
  • 13. Recognizing Choices
    Choosing which choices are even possible
    Information is always processed as an abstraction and only in contrast creating greatest opportunity for bias
    Selection Bias
    Primacy Effect
    Recency Effect
    Our first decision is often to assume the choice matters
    Impact Bias
    13
  • 14. 14
  • 15. 15
  • 16. 16
  • 17. The Paradox of Choice
    Intuition leads us to think more choice is better, but…
    More choices = more viable paths to happiness?
    There must be a perfect choice
    Analysis of all available choices is exhausting!
    Variety is not the same as autonomy!
    Variety is not the same as quality!
    More opportunities = more missed opportunities = regret!
    Try to remember: Perfect is the enemy of Good
    17
  • 18. Bias In Action
    If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now, it's just a spring clean for the May queen. Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there's still time to change the road you're on.
    18
    Oh here's to my sweet Satan. The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan. He'll give those with him 666, there was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan
  • 19. How Do I Choose?
    19
  • 20. Foresight
    Predicting outcomes of a particular path
    Of all animals, humans have the best foresight
    We are still not very good at it
    We can’t predict about choices we can’t recognize
    20
  • 21. 21
  • 22. Axiomatic Foresight
    Literal application of “Rules” interpolating between instinct, advice, or limited experience
    Only requires memory and conditioning
    22
  • 23. Simulated Foresight
    Complex simulation of outcomes in the mind extrapolating from previous experience
    Odds of Gain x Value of Gain = Rational Cost
    Requires experience and a pre-frontal cortex
    23
  • 24. How Can I Make GoodChoices?
    24
  • 25. Morality
    Morals are emotional, and often instinctual, systems for regulating decisions
    A different concept of optimum away from utility
    Harm/Care - Impact of decisions on welfare of others
    Fairness/Reciprocity - Level of equal benefit
    Ingroup/Loyalty - Benefit to members of my group
    Authority/Respect - Compliance with leaders
    Purity/Sanctity – Compliant with norms
    www.yourmorals.org
    25
  • 26. Blink vs. Think
    Some decisions are instantaneous, some arduous
    We always blink, but don’t always think
    Experience and practice = speed and accuracy
    Size of consequences multiples required consideration
    Unless you are an expert, thinking is dangerous!
    26
  • 27. 27
  • 28. Making Good Choices
    Even preferences need experience to discover
    Blink preference is different than think preference
    Blink preference is often better
    Only rely on “Expertise” if the person is really an expert
    And consult experts for big decisions
    28
  • 29. How Can I Make Happy Choices?
    29
  • 30. Hindsight
    The feelings evoked when thinking about past decisions
    Could be satisfaction, regret, ambivalence, etc
    Transient experiences better convert into rosy memories than permanent objects
    If you must choose between new furniture and a vacation
    Irreversible decisions made without alternatives are easier to live with than
    30
  • 31. 31
  • 32. Hindsight Isn’t 20/20
    Natural Happiness – “Getting What You Want”
    Synthetic Happiness – “Wanting What You’ve Got”
    Better than just rationalization and it happens much lower in the brain than memory & reasoning
    Still unhappy? Just remember that you will forget
    About 3 months erases mundane regret
    32
  • 33. The Secret to Happy Decisions
    Lower your expectations
    Don’t expect perfection
    Blink Don’t Think (Unless it’s REALLY Important)
    Sharp contrasts, instant connection, and economical decision-making time
    Accept the things you cannot change
    Permanence forces acceptance
    Forget the things you cannot accept
    33
  • 34. Questions?
    34
  • 35. Thank You!
    35