Thursday, February 28, 2008

Predictable Irrationality - A Study in Human Decision Making

Interesting!! Why we try to 'keep options open'? When faced with a lot of choices, humans try to keep choices open rather than concentrating on a single choice which can maximize the returns...
The experiments involved a game that eliminated the excuses we usually have for refusing to let go. In the real world, we can always tell ourselves that it’s good to keep options open.You don’t even know how a camera’s burst-mode flash works, but you persuade yourself to pay for the extra feature just in case. You no longer have anything in common with someone who keeps calling you, but you hate to just zap the relationship.Your child is exhausted from after-school soccer, ballet and Chinese lessons, but you won’t let her drop the piano lessons. They could come in handy! And who knows? Maybe they will.
The Advantages of Closing a Few Doors - New York Times

However, there is one difference in real human life - you are never sure that which choice would maximise the returns. A particular choice may give returns or may not, so we keep each door open 'just in case' we need them.
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