Re: Ch. 7 - The Problem of Procrastination and Self-Control
I agree that the outcome, the success/failure of the decision, doesn't depend on whether we think we were rational in taking the decision. More than likely, if we judge the outcome as good, we'll credit ourselves with a rational decision! I think this is natural and that we should not
always put first what we think are the most rational criteria. What about the intuitive/emotional factor? Should we disregard that? To me, if we did, that would not be rational, but I think I use a different definition of the word than Ariely does. If you look at Gladwell's book, Blink
, which is about "thinking without thinking," you also see that conscious ratiocination doesn't always produce the best results.
I think of the time when we bought our house. If we'd looked at the list of pros and cons, we'd never have bought the house, the cons so outweighed the pros, at least numerically. But there was something about the place that made it okay, a sense we had about it that was hard to define rationally, and that tipped the balance.
Yes, we're all expert rationalizers, meaning that we usually want to cover up the emotional or automatic responses that lead to our decisions. To a certain extent, during the 1960s young people tried to dethrone rationality; that was partly what the revolution was about.