Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat May 28, 2016 2:56 am

<< Week of May 28, 2016 >>
Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
28 Day Month

29 Day Month

30 Day Month

31 Day Month

1 Day Month

2 Day Month

3 Day Month





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Ch. 7 - The Problem of Procrastination and Self-Control 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 15045
Location: Florida
Thanks: 2878
Thanked: 1111 times in 880 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)
Highscores: 6

Post Ch. 7 - The Problem of Procrastination and Self-Control
Ch. 7 - The Problem of Procrastination and Self-Control



Fri May 28, 2010 6:06 pm
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5477
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1358
Thanked: 1360 times in 1063 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Ch. 7 - The Problem of Procrastination and Self-Control
I'm coming to see why realiz, the other person who has been commenting on this book, dislikes Ariely's assumptions about what is rational. That word doesn't seem to mean only what Ariely decides it means in a given situation. For example, in this chapter, Ariely tells us about his work on procrastination. Obviously, if we're asked when the best time is to get something done, we are going to answer with our rational minds and say "now" rather than "later." Then why do we so often not follow through? Because of irrational influences, Ariely says. When we're being lazy, we're letting emotions and feelings override our sense of what we should be doing, according to our own previous resolution. So far, fine. Ariely then describes an experiment in which his students are given 3 choices to commit to regarding when they'll turn in their three papers. Ariely identifies the most rational choice as the one where they can, if they choose, turn them all in at the end of the semester. They can turn them in at regular intervals under this option, but also they can wait until the end, and if they do they won't be penalized. With the other options, they would incur a penalty if they failed to turn them in by the set intervals they'd agreed to.

Why is the first option the rational one? Couldn't a better case be made for the rationality of the option--actually chosen by the most students in the class--where they commit to a schedule of turning in the papers? It might be because of the distraction of irrationality that we tend to procrastinate in the first place, but since everyone in the world does it, wouldn't the smartest, i.e., most rational, people have a plan to combat their tendency to procrastinate?

The rationality of the students who self-imposed the schedule of papers is reinforced by the finding that their group received the highest grades on the papers.

Ariely then proposes that we could benefit from applying other "pre-commitment" measures to areas of our lives, such as health care. This is a good idea. It shows how we can counter our irrational impulses through planning, which is itself a mark of rationality. Ariely just doesn't put it that way.


_________________
No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live as we dream--alone.

Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness


Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:27 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Better Thread Count than Your Best Linens

Silver Contributor

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 626
Thanks: 42
Thanked: 72 times in 56 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Ch. 7 - The Problem of Procrastination and Self-Control
DWill, You had much the same thoughts on this chapter as I did.

I also think that you cannot judge the rationality of a thought process just by the outcome. I think Ariely has his hypothesis and concludes that his experiments support this without questioning the variables. Can you conclude that someone acted irrationally without examining their thought process? I think some very rational thought processes could bring about very irrational decisions, especially from an observation perspective, especially given that some of us are really, really good at rationalizing...almost as good as we are at procrastinating. Sometimes the best thing to do is to not bother rationalizing at all but just do what your mother told you you should do.



Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:08 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5477
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1358
Thanked: 1360 times in 1063 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Ch. 7 - The Problem of Procrastination and Self-Control
realiz wrote:
DWill, You had much the same thoughts on this chapter as I did.

I also think that you cannot judge the rationality of a thought process just by the outcome. I think Ariely has his hypothesis and concludes that his experiments support this without questioning the variables. Can you conclude that someone acted irrationally without examining their thought process? I think some very rational thought processes could bring about very irrational decisions, especially from an observation perspective, especially given that some of us are really, really good at rationalizing...almost as good as we are at procrastinating. Sometimes the best thing to do is to not bother rationalizing at all but just do what your mother told you you should do.

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.


_________________
No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live as we dream--alone.

Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness


Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:43 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:




Featured Books

Books by New Authors


*

FACTS is a select group of active BookTalk.org members passionate about promoting Freethought, Atheism, Critical Thinking and Science.

Apply to join FACTS
See who else is in FACTS







BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.



Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2016. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank