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Posts tagged ‘Dan Ariely’

The Upside of Irrationality

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home e cea de-a doua carte a profesorului american de economie comportamentală (behavioral economics) Dan Ariely. În prima, Predictably Irrational, autorul demonstra nu numai că noi ca oameni NU suntem în mod fundamental raționali în deciziile, intuițiile sau comportamentele noastre (nici mai mult nici mai puțin decât ipoteza de bază a științei economice), ci și că această natură irațională a noastră nu se manifestă la întâmplare, ci e sistematică și previzibilă.

O concluzie poate amară pentru unii, dar pe care încearcă acum să o îndulcească – e adevărat, suntem iraționali și imperfecți, însă:

1) înțelegând CUM suntem iraționali și care sunt mecanismele psihologice care ne fac uneori să facem greșeli putem să ne îndreptăm și controlăm;

2) iraționalul nu înseamnă întotdeauna greșit, ba dimpotrivă, de multe ori ne definește pozitiv.

 “I hope you also recognize the upside of irrationality—that some of the ways in which we are irrational are also what makes us wonderfully human (our ability to find meaning in work, our ability to fall in love with our creations and ideas, our willingness to trust others, our ability to adapt to new circumstances, our ability to care about others, and so on). Looking at irrationality from this perspective suggests that rather than strive for perfect rationality, we need to appreciate those imperfections that benefit us, recognize the ones we would like to overcome, and design the world around us in a way that takes advantage of our incredible abilities while overcoming some of our limitations.”

Ambele cărți se bazează în mare măsură pe diverse experimente sociale inițiate de autor (majoritatea pe studenți), multe ingenioase și cu rezultate surprinzătoare. Stilul în care sunt ele povestite e și el volubil și adesea distractiv – în puternic contrast cu pasajele în care Dan Ariely își povestește propriile experiențe devastatoare (o mare parte din adolescență și tinerețe și-a petrecut-o în spitale, ca pacient cu arsuri de gradul 3 pe trei sferturi din corp).

Concluziile cărții, foarte pe scurt:

1) Perspectiva unei recompense foarte mari ne va face să performăm mai slab. Indiferent dacă e vorba de un joc sau de serviciu, presiunea pusă pe noi ne împiedică să dăm tot ce avem mai bun. Și de aici o întreagă discuție despre bonusurile imense luate de bancherii americani și criza mondială declanșată de aceștia. (Convenabilă legătura, dar demonstrația slăbuță, mă tem.)

2) Suntem mai puțin productivi atunci când simțim că munca pe care o facem nu e valoroasă. Munca nu e în sine o corvoadă, ba dimpotrivă (până și animalele, s-a descoperit, preferă să muncească pentru mâncare, în locul uneia primite de-a gata), dar va deveni una de îndată ce i se va răpi sensul.

“This experiment taught us that sucking the meaning out of work is surprisingly easy. If you’re a manager who really wants to demotivate your employees, destroy their work in front of their eyes. Or, if you want to be a little subtler about it, just ignore them and their efforts. On the other hand, if you want to motivate people working with you and for you, it would be useful to pay attention to them, their effort, and the fruits of their labor.”

3)  Tindem să ne supraevaluăm ideile și rezultatele proprii.

 “Our experiments demonstrated four principles of human endeavor:

• The effort that we put into something does not just change the object. It changes us and the way we evaluate that object.

• Greater labor leads to greater love.

• Our overvaluation of the things we make runs so deep that we assume that others share our biased perspective.

• When we cannot complete something into which we have put great effort, we don’t feel so attached to it.

In light of these findings, we might want to revisit our ideas about effort and relaxation. The simple economic model of labor states that we are like rats in a maze; any effort we put into doing something removes us from our comfort zone, creating undesirable effort, frustration, and stress. If we buy into this model, it means that our paths to maximize our enjoyment in life should focus on trying to avoid work and increase our immediate relaxation. That’s probably why many people think that the ideal vacation involves lying lazily on an exotic beach and being served mojitos. […] in fact, it’s often effort that ultimately creates long-term satisfaction.”

4) Tindem să subevaluăm ideile și rezultatele altora (“the Not-Invented-Here bias”).

5) Dorința de răzbunare este profund înrădăcinată în noi. Suntem fundamental motivați să ne căutăm, cu orice risc, cu orice costuri, dreptatea.

6) Suntem mult mai adaptabili decât credem, atât la bine cât și la rău. De multe ori asta ne ajută, alteori dimpotrivă.

“By failing to anticipate the extent of our hedonic adaptation, as consumers we routinely escalate our purchases, hoping that new stuff will make us happier. Indeed, a new car feels wonderful, but sadly, the feeling lasts for only a few months. We get used to driving the car, and the buzz wears off. So we look for something else to make us happy: maybe new sunglasses, a computer, or another new car. This cycle, which is what drives us to keep up with the Joneses, is also known as the hedonic treadmill. We look forward to the things that will make us happy, but we don’t realize how short-lived this happiness will be, and when adaptation hits we look for the next new thing.”

“You may think that taking a break during an irritating or boring experience will be good for you, but a break actually decreases your ability to adapt, making the experience seem worse when you have to return to it. When cleaning your house or doing your taxes, the trick is to stick with it until you are done.” Opusul e valabil pentru experiențele pozitive: orice întrerupere va mări plăcerea.

7) Răspundem mult mai puternic în fața unei suferințe individuale (și individualizate) decât în fața unei tragedii în masă, anonime.

8) Emoțiile temporare pot duce la decizii pe termen lung. De fiecare dată când ne îngăduim să acționăm sub impulsul nervilor, efectul nu se va manifesta doar atunci, ci și în viitor, în cascadă.

 “The most practical news is this: if we do nothing while we are feeling an emotion, there is no short- or long-term harm that can come to us. However, if we react to the emotion by making a DECISION, we may not only regret the immediate outcome, but we may also create a long-lasting pattern of DECISIONS that will continue to misguide us for a long time. […] the daily DECISIONS we make while we’re upset or annoyed (or happy) may have an even larger impact on our future DECISIONS.”

9) Ne credem mai raționali decât suntem în realitate, ceea ce ne împiedică să ne înțelegem motivațiile, să ne reconsiderăm acțiunile, să le prezicem consecințele.

“I think we can summarize our wide range of irrational behaviors with two general lessons and one conclusion:

1. We have many irrational tendencies.
2. We are often unaware of how these irrationalities influence us, which means that we don’t fully understand what drives our behavior.

Ergo, We—and by that I mean You, Me, Companies, and Policy Makers—need to doubt our intuitions. If we keep following our gut and common wisdom or doing what is easiest or most habitual just because “well, things have always been done that way,” we will continue to make mistakes – resulting in a lot of time, effort, heartbreak, and money going down the same old (often wrong) rabbit holes. But if we learn to question ourselves and test our beliefs, we might actually discover when and how we are wrong and improve the ways we love, live, work, innovate, manage, and govern.”

O lectură mai mult decât interesantă, deși poate nu se ridică chiar la nivelul primei cărți. Oricum, o recomand.

Dan Ariely, The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home (2010), 4*/5

Au mai scris despre carte: New York Times / Freakonomics

Anunțuri

Before committing to any long-term relationship

Since it’s impossible to avoid either relevant or irrelevant emotional influences altogether, is there anything we can do to keep relationships from deteriorating this way?

One simple piece of advice I’d offer is to pick a partner who would make this downward spiral less likely. But how do you do this? Of course, you can avail yourself of hundreds of compatibility tests, from astrological to statistical, but I think that all you need is a river, a canoe, and two paddles. Whenever I go canoeing, I see couples arguing as they unintentionally run aground or get hung up on a rock. Canoeing looks easier than it is, and that may be why it quickly brings couples to the brink of battle.

Arguments occur far less frequently when I meet a couple for drinks or go to their home for dinner, and it isn’t just because they are trying to be on their best behavior (after all, why wouldn’t a couple also try to be on good behavior on the river?). I think it has to do with the well-established patterns of behavior people have for their normal, day-to-day activities (arguing vehemently at the table in front of strangers is pretty much a no-no in most families).

But when you’re on a river, the situation is largely new. There isn’t a clear protocol. The river is unpredictable, and canoes tend to drift and turn in ways you don’t anticipate. (This situation is very much like life, which is full of new and surprising stresses and roadblocks.) There’s also a fuzzy kind of division of labor between the front and back (or bow and stern, if you want to be technical). This context offers plenty of opportunities to establish and observe fresh patterns of behavior.

So if you’re half of a couple, what happens when you go canoeing? Do you or your partner start blaming each other every time the canoe seems to misbehave (“Didn’t you see that rock?”)? Do you get into a huge battle that ends with one or both of you jumping overboard, swimming to shore, and not speaking for an hour? Or, when you hit a rock, do you work together trying to figure out who should do what, and get along as best you can?

This means that before committing to any long-term relationship you should first explore your joint behavior in environments that don’t have well-defined social protocols (for example, I think that couples should plan their weddings before they decide to marry and go ahead with the marriage only if they still like each other). It also means that it is worthwhile to keep an eye open for deteriorating patterns of behavior. When we observe early-warning signs, we should take swift action to correct an undesirable course before the unfortunate patterns of dealing with each other fully develop.

Dan Ariely, The Upside Of Irrationality (2010)

Nu suntem raționali

Câteva exemple de gândire ne-economică, via Pontul zilei. Pentru cei care vor vrea mai mult le recomand cărțile lui Dan ArielyPredictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions și The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home.

Nota bene: suntem iraționali, nu neapărat proști.

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