How Sheena Iyengar, Author of ‘The Art of Choosing,’ Makes Personal Choices

An interesting article on how we choose and where to say a plain “No!”.

Dr. Iyengar, a social psychologist who firmly believes that taste is an unreliable compass, and who is also blind, navigated the murky landscape of self-expression and made a series of decisions in all sorts of categories — clothes, paint, furniture — that would seem to require both sight and a conviction about taste?

Like most of us, Dr. Iyengar is an expert in none of these areas. She is, however, an expert in choice, after a decade and a half of research teasing out the patterns of human decision-making and revealing its contradictions: how we love choice but are confounded, even paralyzed, by too much of it. In “The Art of Choosing,” her first book, out this month, she presents the biology and the psychology of choice, examining how different cultures construct choice and pondering how we might choose better.

“We’re born with the desire, but we don’t really know how to choose,” she said. “We don’t know what our taste is, and we don’t know what we are seeing. I’m a great believer in the idea of not choosing based on our taste. I could wear makeup today, and one person would say it looks bland, another would say it looks fake, and another might tell me I look really natural. Everyone is convinced their opinion is the truth, and that’s what I struggle against. But doesn’t everyone? What I do is aim for consensus. That’s my rule of how to choose.”

via At Home With Sheena Iyengar – How Sheena Iyengar, Author of ‘The Art of Choosing,’ Makes Personal Choices – NYTimes.com.

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