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Challenging choicesIdeology, consumerism and policy$
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Michael Clarke

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423986

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423986.001.0001

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Making choices: just fun?

Making choices: just fun?

(p.17) Two Making choices: just fun?
Challenging choices

Michael Clarke

Policy Press

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

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