Chapter

Making choices: just fun?

Michael Clarke

in Challenging choices

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9781847423986
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301622 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847423986.003.0003
Making choices: just fun?

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This chapter demonstrates that the tendency to respond adaptively has significant consequences for the experience of choice and its outcomes. It explains that choice is distributed in a bell curve in respect of its benefits. It clarifies the terms opportunity cost, regret, and complexity. It determines if more choice is better than less. It describes two kinds of people and how they adapt to choice — the maximisers and satisficers. It also discusses other choice alternatives, which again have cultural aspects — reversibility and provision. It notes that choices can be collective, as they sometimes are with couples and with families, and often are with institutions, such as schools, hospitals, churches, sports clubs, and businesses. It explores the process called hedonic adaptation. It describes the way in which, if a series of successful choices are made, satisfaction levels are nicely raised, so that life is distinctly pleasurable.

Keywords: hedonic adaptation; opportunity cost; regret; complexity; maximisers; satisficers

Chapter.  7749 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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