The Test

I started watching the video lectures for Dan Ariely’s mooc A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior today. The video above was a supplementary video demonstrating visual illusion, which was then used as a metaphor for our decision illusions – we often believe that we are good at making decisions and that they are rational, when in fact we are often very bad at this based on the ways that we process information.

I’m about halfway through the first week’s video lectures, and we’ve already covered defaults (the easiest decision is to do nothing, and whatever is framed as the default will become the option chosen most often), preferences and convictions (when asked to list 10 reasons for a decision we are less certain of it than when asked to list 3 reasons), choice sets and relativity (how the inclusion of a third “lesser” option can send people toward the option it is similar to), and the long-lasting effects of decision-making (once we make a decision we tend to keep making that same choice). Definitely enjoying this so far, though I’m eager to get beyond what I recall from reading The Upside of Irrationality.

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