Our choices are made in comparison to other options, and what we might lose or gain with these decisions. Unfortunately, all too often we don’t know the value of those options at all! For example, do you really know the price and quality of one television set over another?
If given a set of options, Ariely lays out the predictable choices in each:
Most weekends, my wife and I make it a point to write out a dinner menu, spend an hour shopping, and prep for some dinners in the upcoming week.
It’s not the way we’d prefer to spend Sunday morning. It doesn’t matter. We know that having the menu ready and the food in the house is going to massively increase the chances that we will enjoy a home-cooked dinner.
I was in NYC a few weeks ago. The color of the season is Army Green. Everywhere you look in NYC, people are wearing Army Green.
I don’t own much Army Green. I don’t like how I look in most shades of green. I tend to avoid green all together (except on Thursdays. Honestly.)
Instead of Army Green in NYC, I wore a white collared shirt, a blue jacket, and grey slacks all weekend. I also had a grey sweater. I wanted to pack minimally and still look put together. I think I did alright. I wasn’t on-trend with that Army Green, which is something I try to avoid anyways.