Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Predictably Irrational

John Tierny published an article February 26, 2008 titled The Advantages of Closing a Few Doors. A devotee of Dan Ariely's informative discoveries about how humans make all sorts of decisions, most of which are hazardous to our financial, physical, and emotional health, Tierny lays out a careful explanation.

You don't need to be a Ph.D. to know humans have a love affair with our options, and there are no lengths we won't go to keep as many options open. It's when we see the doors closing on our options, as doors invariably do, we respond, not in rational ways, but in normal human, ways.

If you like keeping options open (I know I sure do) take the online test at Tierny Lab.

Further Reading: "Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions." Dan Ariely; HarperCollins, 2008.

"Keeping Doors Open: The Effect of Unavailability on Incentives to Keep Options Viable." Jiwoong Shin, Dan Ariely. Management Science, May 2004. (PDF)

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