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Notes Towards Day 9

Notes Towards Day 9

I. Start by taking three surveys from The Paradox of Choice:
*are you a maximizer or a satisficer? (p.80)
*the regret scale (p.87)
*the subjective happiness scale (p. 196)
can we chart the correlations?

II. practice for your next two papers
for Friday:
3-pp. research paper reporting on current studies done on your health choice:
how are most college students handling the choice you are confronting?
how best to present the information you find?
find three web sources; look @ HOW they present the info (causes? correlations?
text? table? how do you fit in the statistics? why are you locted where you are?

B. week after: you will come up w/ 5 questions, to ask 15 people,
& (instead of writing a paper)
present your information in graph or table form on line & to us in class

C. Revisiting "Risk Charts: Putting Cancer in Context"
without context (=10-year-chance of dying from various causes, side-by-side)
impossible to gauge magnitude of a disease risk for any individual

D. brainstorm: what topic you will research,
how you will search for info, how evaluate it?

E. What did you learn about health, from writing these papers?
what has been the primary CONTEXT for your decisions?
is "all health mental health"?

III. two examples (w/ two very different research agendas implied...)

IV. further thoughts...

A. Notes from Katie Baratz's visit to Critical Feminist Studies

"benign paternalism"

"disorders of sexual development" (vs. variations? ambiguities? differences?)

sickness (body not working) vs. illness (how you experience that sickness)

inability to "fit " in a self-fulfiling description: you become the disorder?

"in adolescence, everyone experiences a sense of sexual disorder"

B. from the "choices and constraints" discussion series:

Books are a relatively recent invention; learning went on before they existed, and has gone on since without them. Perhaps they negatively influence our sense of how we are doing. When we are making something material, or performing something physical, "how we are doing is evident in what we are doing"; but in book work, what we know might not be so clear. "We don't know what we don't know." This might be key to our shared sense that we are "all on the periphery": the idea that "someone else has to be the judge of our progress," and books may well contribute to that sort of judgment. A "good job" then becomes relative to what others do, and we are inhibited from thinking of ourselves as teachers; we assume that we are only learners....

We are failing, so long as our students look to us to know "how they are doing." Giving too many instructions--or offering a review of what is "great"--can have this effect. There are at least two standards here: how much one can learn, vs. looking for others' judgment of where one is, in relation to others. The process is incremental: classroom teachers should be inviting students to make free choices, and students should know that they will not be judged by the choices they make, which should be personalized in their own terms....

Perhaps we need to make a different kind of success--that which is inherent in the performance itself, rather than in others' judgment of it--more modal. Or perhaps that analogy, of winning and losing, doesn't really work, either: faculty can't "win" @ the work they do, for instance; they must keep on struggling.

V. At the same time we're asking you to research these choices...
we are troubling the very concept of choosing: what does it mean to choose?
(continue reading The Paradox of Choice, Part IV, for Thursday)

cartoon on p. 216: "They never should have allowed us to be free-range"

talking points:
p. 3: cost to choice overload

5: pay less attention to others' choices

p. 14f: shopping for knowledge: browsing classes, free to choose, no shared intellectual experiences

18: 93% of teenage girls say shopping is their favorite activity

23: filtering extraneous information basic function of consciousness:

increasingly: time-consuming foraging behavior

29: more choices, more responsibility

39: religious institutions as markets for tranquility ("supermarket Quakerism")

41f: choosing identity

44: cumulative effect of added choices causes added stress

48: experienced, vs. expected, vs. remembered utility

49: peak-end rule (discrepancy between logic and memory)

57: gathering information: the availability heuristic

60: multi-individual information assessment (but: shared second-hand information)

62: anchoring, framing

67: creative accounting re: own psychological balance sheets

69: risk averse re: potential gains; risk seeking re: potential losses

75: choosing vs. picking