A few weeks ago, I was having lunch with a friend. He is planning his wedding and they recently have been going to Bed Bath & Beyond to add items to their registry.
He told me about a few items that he saw while there: containers for a single slice of bread, and containers that have a built in ice pack in the lid.
Taleb discusses how in a study, when people were asked which was more likely, they would more often choose the second of these two:
- He was happily married. He killed his wife.
- He was happily married. He killed his wife to get the insurance money.
What this is suggesting is that, we, as humans, naturally want to find a cause and a story for anything that happens. Even though the first sentence allows for a wider range of possible reasons for the man killing his wife, the second one may seem more likely because it has a cause.
So back to plastic containers…
Are we suckered into thinking we need a container for every possible purpose out there? Are companies marketing to this aspect of human nature and taking advantage of some innate need for purpose and explanation? Do we really need an ice pack built in or a single bread slice container?
OK Go – Do What You Want