Saturday, May 01, 2010 Posted by Dina N
LIFE IS FULL OF CHOICES.
HOW DO WE MAKE THEM?
An Apple Store customer asks for the latest iPhone in black but suddenly changes his preference to white when he sees the choices others are making. A resident of a former communist country is offered a fizzy drink from a wide selection but picks at random; soda is soda, he says. Though the child knows she shouldn't press the big red button (absolutely not!), she finds her hand inching forward. A young man and woman decide to marry -- knowing that the first time they meet will be on their wedding day.
How did these people make their choices? How do any of us make ours? Choice is a powerful tool to define ourselves and mold our lives -- but what do we know about the wants, motivations, biases, and influences that aid or hinder our endeavors?
In The Art of Choosing, Columbia University professor Sheena Iyengar, a leading expert on choice, sets herself the Herculean task of helping us become better choosers. She asks fascinating questions: Is the desire for choice innate or created by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? Ultimately, she offers unexpected and profound answers, drawn from her award-winning, discipline-spanning research.
Here you'll learn about the complex relationship between choice and freedom, and why one doesn't always go with the other. You?ll see that too much choice can overwhelm us, leading to unpleasant experiences, from "TiVo guilt" over unwatched TV programs to confusion over health insurance plans. Perhaps most important, you'll discover how our choices -- both mundane and momentous -- are shaped by many different forces, visible and invisible. This remarkable book illuminates the joys and challenges of choosing, showing us how we build our lives, one choice at a time.
"No one asks better questions, or comes up with more intriguing answers."
--Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers
The Art of Choosing is a truly fascinating book. The author draws on her own research as well as on that of many others to give readers a close look at how we choose. We are surrounded by choices - small and big, mundane and important. Every day, we make decisions based on choice. Our culture, upbringing, and personal beliefs shape the way we choose. So does our environment and many other factors that we might not even be aware existed. We usually welcome choice, the abundance of alternatives and options we often take for granted and value so highly. But how much choice is too much? Personally, I've been in situations where I've felt overwhelmed by too many options and almost wished for less. It turns out there are cognitive limitations on how much information people can process and it affects our ability to choose.
Ms. Iyengar is an expert who has translated her research into a book that is easy to comprehend. The Art of Choosing made me reflect on many of the choices I make in daily life and understand my own motivation a little better. This is a psychology book but I would argue as entertaining and impossible to put down as any fast-paced thriller or mystery.
Hachette Book Group is generously giving away to my readers three (3) copies of The Art of Choosing audio book!
To enter, leave a comment about a good book you've read - or listened to - lately.
You may do any and all of the following for extra chances to win:
- follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway, feel free to copy and paste: "Win 1 of 3 copies of The Art of Choosing audio book! #Giveaway ends 5/16 @aitmama #win #contests #books http://tinyurl.com/pgbdla" – you may do this once a day;
- go here for additional ways to get extra entries.
Open to residents 18+ of U.S. and Canada only. No P.O. box addresses, please. One book per person. Winners will receive their prizes directly from Hachette Book Group. Book information, review copy and image courtesy of the publisher. No compensation was provided for this post.
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book without any obligation to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and may differ from yours. No monetary compensation was provided for this post.