Culturele verschillen: keuzes maken (Filmpje, “The Art of Choosing” Sheena Iyengar)

Het nieuwe jaar staat voor de deur. Voor welk goed voornemen ga jij je dit jaar werkelijk inzetten? Het begin van het nieuwe jaar vraagt om keuzes maken.  Hoe kom je eigenlijk tot een goede keuze? De manier waarop we keuzes maken blijkt voor een groot deel te worden beïnvloed door onze (culturele) achtergrond, aldus Sheena Iyengar. Zij vertelt (in het Engels):

How many choices do you see above? Watch the video for the answer.

How and when do we make the choices we do? Sheena Iyengar has been looking at the ways in which geography, religion, political systems and demographics can fundamentally shape how people perceive themselves and their roles. The stories of our lives, told differently in every culture and every home, have profound implications for what and why we choose. Our cultural backgrounds influence how we make choices in nearly every area of our lives.

From early on, members of individualistic societies are taught the special importance of personal choice. As soon as children can talk, or perhaps as soon as as they can accurately point, they are asked, “Which one of these would you like?” Children learn to figure out what they like and dislike, what makes them happy and what won’t. Their own opionions truly matter, and they must figure out how to judge the outcome of their choices.

By contrast, members of collectivistic societies place greater emphasis on duty. Children are often told, “If you’re a good child, you’ll do what your parents tell you,” and the parents need not explain themselves. From what you eat to what you wear, the toys you play with to what you study, it is what you’re supposed to do that’s important. As you grow older, instead of being asked what you want, you may be asked, “How will you take care of your parent’s needs and wants? How will you make them proud?” There are “right” choices and “wrong” ones, and by following your elders, you will learn to choose correctly, even relinquish choice when appropriate.

“Keuze” kan zoveel betekenissen hebben. Goed om bij stil te staan wanneer we mensen vragen om een Persoonlijk Ontwikkel Plan, of om aan te geven voor welk product  / teamdoel / aanpak zij een voorkeur hebben. Leer meer over “The Art of Choosing” in de TEDtalk van Sheena Iyengar, professor op de Columbia Business School, en auteur van het boek The Art of Choosing:

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