Friday, December 2, 2016

Day B: Response to "Yes, You're Irrational, and Yes, That's OK"

Day B Students: In 150 words, post a reply to "Yes, You're Irrational, and Yes, That's OK" (Berreby, 2015). Within your reply, summarize the article and propose a question or critique regarding the article.

Day A Students: In 150 words, respond to a post from Day B, rephrasing their main point and respond to their question(s) and/or critique. 

21 comments:

  1. Yes, You’re Irrational, and Yes, That’s OK

    To err is human, or so says David Berreby’s article, in which he discusses the innate irrationality of human decision-making. Berreby quotes the president of an advertising agency who claims that in advertising, “It’s all about leveraging the unconscious factors that drive 95 percent of consumer decision making”, and this notion seems to be the underlying motivation for this article: yes, you’re irrational, and yes, people will take advantage of this and manipulate you. Pondering this irrationality, Berreby stages an interesting division between two opinions: one thinking that this irrationality is a fault of our species, the other thinking that it’s an acceptable and intrinsic part of human nature. Berreby believes in embracing our illogical tendencies so as to better identify when they’re being used against us, and while this may not prevent us from being manipulated, at least we can understand what we’re doing when we succumb to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. In the article "Yes, You’re Irrational, and Yes, That’s OK", David Berreby explains and discusses the 'innate irrationality of human decision making' and concludes with the two perspectives of how one may view irrational human decision making and, by saying that he believes in embracing our illogical tendencies therefore we may be able to better identify them when 'they are being used against us'.
      Coming from a place of understanding, this article (as explained by you) brings light to our irrational tendencies whilst we make decisions. Your overall summary of the article, in my opinion, is very well written ( well done with 150 words), but I will say, I am not quite sure of your critique, or if you have one. I am able to grasp what you were able to grasp about the article, and what it is explaining, but not what you thought of the article in question.

      Delete
    2. I'm glad that you pointed out the flaws in my response. There was no real critique and I opted for form over function.

      Delete
  2. David Berreby's article Yes, You're Irrational, and Yes, That's OK highlights three main points; the first being "It's all about leveraging the unconscious factors that drive 95 percent of decision making." Researchers have found out that consumer decision can be influenced by a wide array of things. Some of those things are irrational and irrelevant to the decision making process according to Berreby. The second point presented, "The premise of many tactics - that people's thinking processes are full of mistakes - may be wrong." Berreby says that people's thinking is not necessarily wrong it's just different as every individual has a unique response to the question opposed. For example people choose saving 400 people out of 600 rather than letting 200 die; in all reality it is the same thing. That being said not everybody's is an irrational thinkers they just see things differently. The third point highlighted in the article is, "If I am saving you from turning the wrong way when you are lost, what difference does it make if you don't know I am steering you?" According to Berreby this makes a huge difference as humans don't like being dominated or controlled; knowing that someone is pushing you towards a decision we are more likely to oppose it. However, we fail to realize that we are constantly being steered towards an end goal. As long as you don't acknowledge the power behind your choice you are okay the moment you realize that you have been influenced the pristine bubble pops. To what extent can our actions and behaviors be justified?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The article highlights three main points all surrounding a theme that is the idea of behavioral economics. Behavioral economics is the premise that includes different methods such as priming or framing effects that are responsible for nudging the general public a certain direction to choose a certain thing. You asked to what extent our actions and behaviors can be justified to steer someone to an end goal and what difference does it make if they don’t realize they are being steered a certain direction. My answer to that is if people are given a decision that calls its attention to the decision it is trying to influence like the healthy/not healthy lunch choice people are able to decide what way they wish to be “nudged”. So rather than everyone on being steered in the same direction the people are given the ability to make their own decisions while realizing how they are being influenced and self justify their behaviors and actions.

      Delete
  3. "If i am saving you from turning the wrong way when you are lost, what difference does it make if you dont know i am steering you."
    In his article "Yes, You're Irrational, and Yes, Thats OK," Berreby suggests that the framing of choices can effect our decision making. Even when 2 identical choices are presented, (ie. Saving 400/600 people vs. letting 200 die) our brains are unable to recoginize them as the same. Although cases can be logically identical, the social aspect vastly effects the emotional side of decisions. Although we are irrational beings with some "information-processing 'errors'" by becoming aware of the flaws and inner working of our minds we can better achieve what goals we desire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The article talks about how choices can affect our decision making even if we’re presented with the same choice. You talked how that when we (as irrational beings) become aware of our flaws, we’ll be able to better achieve our goals, and how even if we’re presented with logically identical cases the social aspect vastly affects the emotional side of decisions. To that I would say that yes there is a social side that can affect decisions and how they can affect how we as humans make decisions (peer pressure). We as humans want to make the best choice even though there is no best choice. Our brains are wired in an way where we feel like we need to to make the best choice, even if it's not logical. And that's where peer pressure comes into effect. Because the social side of things can really affect our decision making.

      Delete
    2. By creating more awareness we can prevent human “errors”. As humans we sometimes have trouble recognizing identical situations as they don’t seem the same to us. When looking back at our decisions, we can see that they’re logically identical yet in the heat of the moment our past experiences and views of this world seep their way into our decisions. So by creating awareness of the flaws in our decision making we can prevent this. Yet is that possible? Each and every human has different experiences and a different past making their decision making skills unique and very different. Even then there is no right answer for the identical situation. I personally believe that there are no two people with the same decision making , experiences and views. What if all decisions were explained to us with a clear goal of where they would lead us? Would we choose the same decisions that we would have without their knowledge?

      Delete
  4. When self knowledge becomes the goal opposed to "the practice of sly manipulation", mankind will then have the capabilities to transcend above the beliefs and "assumption[s] that that our thinking is riddled with mistakes." Rene Descartes proposed the phrase "Cogito ergo sum", which translates to "I think, therefore I am." One's ability to think and decipher are key factors in the development and embodiment of self. In today's society, it is more important (and challenging) than ever to maintain that untainted individual sentience. I think, therefore I am; I am, therefore I observe; I observe, therefore I become. Life is full of becomings, separate events in which self is disassembled and reassembled in a new fashion, and it is our purpose to be prepared for these events. In everyday life, people are faced with obstacles, distractions, lessons, and decisions that push and pull in every which way. Whether the influences be forthright or subtle, they impact one's choices indubitably. Will the gained awareness of these infectious cues obsolesce the power they previously held, or "[is the] least we can [do] understand what we're doing when we succumb to it"?

    ReplyDelete
  5. In Berreby's article "Yes, You're Irrational, and Yes, That's Ok", he discusses the inherent tendencies for humans to be irrational when making decisions. We as humans are greatly influenced to make decisions not only due to what our choices are but how they are presented in comparison to another. An example of this is choosing between saving 400 out of 600 people, or letting 200 people die. The outcomes of either are the same, however due to our irrational thinking, we are unable to differentiate the two. Berreby quotes the president of an advertising company saying "it’s all about leveraging the unconscious factors that drive 95 percent of consumer decision making." This conviction appears to be the latent theme in this article since we are naturally irrational, we are susceptible to manipulation. It's only customary for us to not want to be directed, however in some way, someone's actions are always influencing ours whether or not we're conscious of this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the article “Yes, You’re irrational, and yes, that’s Ok,” Berreby highlights the built-in tendency of us humans being irrational when it comes to decision making. Us as humans often get influenced to make a certain decision based on how it is presented to us. Even though two choices might have the same outcome, just because one of them is presented well we tend to go with that choice. As irrational beings we are vulnerable to manipulation. Your summary is well written and helps me understand what the article was about, at least through your thoughts. However I am not able to grasp what your thought or critique of the article was. I do get your point though, so I guess the best I can do is leave you with a question, are the people who influence our decisions only the people we know or could this be any random person?

      Delete
    2. To answer your question, any single person or group of people, whether we know them or not, has the capability to influence our decisions and actions. Say if you're driving and someone decides to be reckless, and puts yours and the people around him\her lives in danger, how you approach the situation is dependant on what the bad driver is doing. You might report the driver, take a different route, etc. So yes, anyone, random or not, is able to influence our decisions.

      Delete
  6. In Berreby’s article “Yes, You're Irrational, and Yes, That's OK”, many points are stated about how people tend to make unreasonable decisions. Most people are naturally influenced by society and factors that affect it. One example in the article is choosing to save 400 people out of 600 people, or sacrificing 200 people out of 600 people. Both options result in the same outcome, yet one sounds better than the other because they are phrased in such a way that influences people's decision to choose between the two. This is the technique of using “irrelevant noise” which makes whoever is making a decision think (what choice “sound[s] hopeful or sad?”) According to the article, people have been taught for a long time that “the value you place on a thing arises from its intrinsic properties combined with your needs and desires.” In this case, saving people seems like a better choice, because the desire to help society is greater than letting people die. This potentially makes humans “irrational” because we can not see the relationship between the two choices right away, which make us susceptible to them. The article goes on by giving more examples of how people are easily manipulated to make decisions that were influenced by someone or something. Things like “framing effects” and “nudge tactics” are used to pull people in a certain direction without them really knowing about it. Like the article reveals, these are just a few out of many “strategies” that are used in our economy and world. Does this mean we can never truly make our own decisions because we have been exposed to outside influences that can alter our thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Berreby’s article “Yes, You're Irrational, and Yes, That's OK”, it is said that many people tend to make unreasonable decisions. For example, saving 400 out of 600 people is the same as killing 200 out of 600 people, but if asked to choose, most people would choose to save 400 people because of the way one has been conditioned by society. Saving people sounds much better killing people, even though the end result is the same. Because our brain does not fully comprehend the situation when first presented with it, it shifts into thinking the way society has taught it. I understand the main point, but I’m confused by what “framing effects” and “nudge tactics” are. Don’t forget, I haven’t read the article myself, so if something is brought up, it is helpful to fully explain it. Other than that, great work! It was very well written and thorough.

      Delete
  7. In Berreby article "Yes, You're Irrational and Yes That OK" speaks to how people often make poor decisons. Most people when making decisons are easily influenced my external factros such as societal norms and their peers. Another factor that can effect the outcome is the way the decison is given to a person. For example, in the article chooeing to save 400 people out of 600 people or letting 200 people die out of 600. These two choices are the exact same but one seems more "reasonable" beacsue of how it is worded. This is beacasue people will often chooes the choice that "sounds" or "feels" better. This can casue people to not see that the two choices are actually the exact same. So the inability to see the realtionship of the two choices causes human to be "irrational". This is just one stratagy that many people in the real world use to draw a peosons decisions twoards a choice that they want them to choose. So do we as humans ever actually make our own decisions? Ultamatly yes it is your choice what you choose, but most of our decisions are guided by external forces. So to what extent do we control our own decisions? and how can people change their thinking in order to see factors acting on us when we are making decisons?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The article “Yes, You're Irrational, and Yes, that’s OK”, depicts how we make decisions and how these decisions are influenced by many factors. These factors affect our decisions by presenting the situations, in a unique manner. An example used in the article is; either saving 400 of 600 people or allowing the 200 of the 600 to die. Both are the same thing, but it’s presentation cause most people to choose saving 400 out of 600 people because it “sounds” better. Such strategies are used to make others choose what people want to. Although in the end people make their own decisions, they are largely subjected to these factors. Factors affecting our decision making ability are found everywhere in society,and in order to see the factors one needs to be made aware of them. Not until people themselves see these factors, they won’t recognize how their decisions are influenced.

      Delete
  8. In the article "Yes, You're Irrational and Yes That OK" we learn about our own decision making process and how it is affected/bombarded with advertisements and other forms of decision altering paraphernalia. We are then compered to the decision making process of a chimpanzee,( a close relative to the homo sapiens species), but we find that humans have this re occurring ability to make the decision that we see made by everyone else, we tend to imitate people that we see and that we believe have a strong advantage over ourselves. Therefore we will alter our decisions because we wish to be just like them we grow up. So my question is what does the writer of this document wish to achieve by releasing this information to the public, is it simply something to read over coffee or start a revolution, if so why?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The article "Yes, You're Irrational and Yes that's OK" is about how different factors influence our decisions to the point of seemed irrationality. It implies that most of our behavior is based on imitation. This is similar to the idealizing of other's actions and words exhibited in children in response to an older or more mature figure. From what you've explained, I think this article was written more as a conversation piece or the beginnings of an argument than anything. Some things are said just to see the responses of others, and to learn from them, and to stimulate thought and questions.

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, in the article "Yes, You're Irrational and Yes That OK" i agree that we as humans tend to imitate people that we see and that we believe have a strong advantage over ourselves. Ir you were to think about it people will do anything to make themselves or something good for them, it is just human nature. The question that you have posted , it think it is more of an awareness information for the public with they don't know what they are doing or people around them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Human behavior and economics unsurprisingly go hand in hand with each other. This article in particular looks at the specifics of human choice and the various factors that can influence it, with also looking at the overall question of inherent nature of humans being rational or irrational. Berreby looks at the different factors that influence human choice to analyze the overall question. The “Nudge” effect has a particular approach to alter human behavior in a subtle way and it’s the method government's use to counter business that might promote unhealthy lifestyles. The catch with this method, as with most, is that it assumes that we are irrational and that we need to be lead to a preselected option through decoy methods. The article leaves us with the statement that although we can use decoy methods, people should be aware of the fact of how and why they are used. But how do we keep governments in check for leading us blindly rather than educate us on the processes.

    ReplyDelete