Saturday, December 31, 2011
Predictably Irrational: Chapter 8
Posted by Saj Karsan
Humans also behave irrationally when it comes to keeping our options open. We can't resist having alternative options, even if it reduces our overall focus. Through a series of experiments, Ariely demonstrates that humans perform worse than otherwise when faced with the prospect of diminishing alternatives. The subjects of the experiments sacrificed way more than they should have (if they were rational) in order to keep options open.
Ariely believes this occurs to a great extent in society, much to our detriment. Many opportunity costs are lost as a result of delays we make in order to keep our options open. Sometimes a coin-flip decision is better than no decision at all, as it forces the individual to move on, thereby increasing the value of the end result.