When you [think you] have freedom [Max Yogoro]

When you [think you] have freedom

Picture yourself facing the following tasks:
[1] Think about anything you want.
[2] Decide future steps for your professional career.
[3] In the supermarket, choose one tomato sauce to buy.

Few tasks provide so much freedom of choice as the first one. Even though I could guess, as people are influenced by their surroundings, that you probably evoke something related to things you have recently seen/heard/thought about. The second task offers less but still a quite large number of alternatives to consider. The third one is much more restricted, right?!

In fact, every choice we make depends on the ‘degree of freedom’ we are able to grasp. We can translate this ‘degree of freedom’ as a space of action, which is based on the diversity and number of given and imaginable options. Different circumstances induce different spaces of action.

Since we make choices all the time [some more consciously than others] on what to think, say, do, buy and so on, it is worth reflecting on where our options come from and how we cope with them.

Behavioral Economics and Behavioral Design researches show that when interpreting and making decisions, we are often less rational than we think, that our behavior can be easily influenced.

Take the example of black pearls: “The interesting thing about black pearls is that when they were first introduced to the market there was essentially no way to gauge how much they were worth: were they worth more or less than white pearls? Most people instinctually believed that white pearls were still more desirable. But then the black pearl discoverers had an lucrative insight: take these unfamiliar black pearls to a famous jeweler and have them displayed next to the more precious gems: rubies, sapphires, and so on. The result still lives with us today: black pearls are now worth more than white pearls.” from Dan Ariely’s blog. Check also the video ‘Black Pearls’:

Many cases in everyday life are like the black pearls’ case. We take things for granted. We accept certain assumptions without never thinking about them. In the end, black pearls are simply more expensive than the white ones.

Such mental porosity helps us build shortcuts that let our minds move forward, not being paralyzed by ‘overthinking’. However, these shortcuts can lead to deception as well.

Prejudice, consumerism [worth watching: Affluenza], excessive focus on short-term benefits despite larger long-term negative effects and bad decisions in general are common outcomes of these shortcuts.

Therefore, to all of you [designers, entrepreneurs, teachers, communicators, politicians, parents, spouses, artists and more] remember that you have a huge responsibility when creating/offering anything: carefully consider what you are letting people choose and what you are inducing people to do.

Moreover, when you think you have freedom, think twice.

Dec 28, 2015
Inscreva-se na newsletter.
Quer bater um papo?
Me envie um email: max@yogoro.me.
Want to share your thoughts?
Send me an email at max@yogoro.me.

Você pode gostar...

À procura do design excelente [2/2]: Designeando [Max Yogoro]
Sep 2016

À procura do design excelente [2/2]: Designeando

Ser “estratégico” não é necessariamente ser amplo e abstrato.
À procura do design excelente [1/2]: Princípios de Design [Max Yogoro]
Sep 2016

À procura do design excelente [1/2]: Princípios de Design

‍Projetar produtos, serviços, estratégias e organizações é um processo de escolhas. Um bom design vem de boas escolhas. Escolher com sabedoria, portanto, é uma questão central.
Design como arte marcial [Max Yogoro]
Sep 2016

Design como arte marcial

Como um praticante de ambos, artes marciais e design, pude perceber ao longo dos anos como a prática de um influenciou positivamente a prática do outro e espero compartilhar alguns insights derivados dessa congruência.

You may like...

The pursuit of great design [2/2]: Designing [Max Yogoro]
Sep 2016

The pursuit of great design [2/2]: Designing

Being ‘strategic’ is not necessarily about going broad and abstract.
The pursuit of great design [1/2]: Design Principles [Max Yogoro]
Sep 2016

The pursuit of great design [1/2]: Design Principles

‍Designing products, services, strategies, and organizations is a process of choosing. Good design comes out of good choices. Choosing wisely, therefore, is a core issue.
Design as martial art [Max Yogoro]
Sep 2016

Design as martial art

As a practitioner of both, martial arts and design, I perceived throughout the years how my practice in one has positively influenced my practice of the other and I hope to give you some insights derived from this congruence.


Videos, recommendations, articles and more about strategy, design, and ways of thinking.