Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Subject Selection and the Psychology of Choice

Is it possible that our education system is creating maximisers and in so doing diminishing happiness and satisfaction? While I have been a very strong supporter of the notion of more choice means greater engagement and satisfaction, my views on this have changed. To me now the challenge is to work out what our optimum choice situation for course counselling might look like. How many subjects should we present in the course book? How do we work out what to present and what not to?

13 April 2006
Our entire market economy is based on one idea, the more choice you have the happier you get. But science suggests we’re going against human nature. In fact, too much choice can actually make you sick.
Now one man is taking a stand; Barry Schwartz has worked out that a certain increase in choice does make us more satisfied but once you get beyond that satisfaction declines sharply.
Nick knows all about this. He’s what’s known as a maximiser and he cannot decide which of anything to buy without weighing up the pros and cons, and agonising over what he should do pre-purchase and then agonising about what he might have missed out on afterwards – up to the point of developing depression. So what’s the ideal amount of variables we as humans can handle?


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