Header image with four cats and the text: Pussreboots, a book review nearly every day. Online since 1997
Now 2024 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA+ Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Al Capone Shines My Shoes (audio) by Gennifer Choldenko
Alameda County Breeding Bird Atlas by Bob Richmond
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Born on a Blue Day (audio) by Daniel Tammet
Croak by Gina Damico
Dr. Seuss: The Cat Behind the Hat by Caroline W. Smith
Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Glorious Adventures of the Sunshine Queen by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Googlization of Everything by Siva Vaidhyanathan
Ida B. (audio) by Katherine Hannigan
In Memory of the Map by Christopher Norment
The Legend of the Ghost Dog by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Lost Cities by Dale Peck
The Lowdown on Denim by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
The Mermaid's Mirror by LK Madigan
The Moffats by Eleanor Estes
101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic ... but Didn't! by Tim Maltin
Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder
The Pirate's Daughter by Robert Girardi
Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean
Square Cat by Elizabeth Schoonmaker
Stitches by David Small
Swahili for the Broken-Hearted by Peter Moore
Swish by Joel Derfner
Twin Spica 07 by Kou Yaginuma
Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2024

Ozathon: 12/2023-01/2025

Canadian Book Challenge: 2023-2024

Chicken Prints
Paintings and Postcards

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

The Art of Choosing: 11/18/12

cover art

The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar is about how people make choices and what influences them — culture, psychology, number of choices available, and so forth.

The book opens with Iygenar asking for advice on nail polish. She's blind and has to rely on the color sense of others and their ability to describe why one shade is better than another. Frankly, I figure, why bother with nail polish, but I'm not the author. It is in the abstract an interesting exploration of how one can make an informed decision based on very little or potentially biased information.

Iygenar's best known study on choice involves jam. The gist of the study comes down to this observation — fewer choices result in happier decision makers. This is a study I can relate too — although not with jam. I know my family's favorite flavors, and mine, and that's what I pick. But moving venues to a new restaurant — especially those where all the choices are written in itty-bitty script on a chalkboard and I have to stand in line and make a quick choice. I HATE that. My mind goes completely blank unless I'm very familiar with the place. I usually just end up not ordering!

Another study looked at culture on performance. Kids were told to make anagrams and they could either pick the pen color of their choice or they were told their mother had picked blue for them. On average, Asian children did better when told their mother had picked the pen for them, while Caucasian kids did better without the "added embarrassment" of parental involvement.

Looking at my own two kids, I'm fairly certain both would do better if told I had picked a pen. We're a pretty close knit family and they are in a Chinese language immersion program at school. I don't know if the Chinese culture is rubbing off on how they look at parental involvement, but I know my daughter (for certain) would be like the kid who told the teacher she wanted her mother to know she used the blue pen. My son, who is a little older, might go the other way but I suspect he'd see the pen choice as normal since so many of his friends parents would have done the same thing.

Three stars

Comments (0)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2024 Sarah Sammis