The Choice Explosion By David Brooks Analysis

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In “The Choice Explosion” by David Brooks, the author describes the state of decision-making skills and how they have affected life in recent years, specifically in America. Brooks begins with a description of a social psychology experiment on Japanese and American college students and the decisions they wanted to make for themselves. The results showed that the American students wanted to decide in four times more areas than the Japanese students. Brooks then makes the conclusion that this is the result of American individualism; this individualism has provided more choice and control over everyday life. However, the author also points out that arriving at good outcomes is no easy task, even for qualified decision makers. Brooks demonstrates this through…show more content…
The author then talks about the Heaths’ recommendation to intentionally make mistakes. For instance, going on a date with someone who doesn’t necessarily appeal to you. This is because we often have a marred perspective of what we like and can benefit from expanding our horizons. Finally, the Heaths discuss the tendency to fall into a false dilemma, and they suggest inquiring how a problem can be solved differently. Brooks suggests that with more decisions, a better understanding of decision making is required. He says that it should be implemented into education and believes that this would be especially important for the impoverished. This is because there is a higher risk of failing to develop these decision making skills; they have much less opportunity and lack the same support present in a privileged environment. Brooks references the work of Mullainathan and Shafir and the effects of stress on decision making. The author also draws upon the observations of a school principal he met; the principal observed that simply living in a destitute area could distort decision making
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