A: So November already.
B: This is true – it’ll soon be Christmas. A very spiritual time.
A: Soon? Almost 2 months.
B: But it’s closer than it was…..
B: Anyway, let’s talk about control, or rather the illusion of control.
A: Go for it.
B: There was an experiment carried out with lottery tickets 30 years ago.
A: They had lottery tickets 30 years ago?
B: Apparently. So, where was I?
A: Ellen Langer’s lottery ticket experiment.
B: Ah yes. So, half the subjects were allowed to choose their own tickets…
A: And the other half were just given their tickets?
B: Correct. Each ticket cost 1 dollar.
A: An American dollar.
B: Correct again.
A: And the experiment….
B: Oh yes. Then the subjects were offered money to but their tickets.
A: I see. So they were offered money for their dollar lottery tickets.
B: They were. The average price the subjects accepted for the forced choice was $1.96.
A: Not a bad profit on a dollar. But what about the people who chose their own tickets?
B: Well that was interesting.
A: Oh why?
B: Well even though the tickets had the same chance of winning the subjects were reluctant to give them up.
A: Even for more money?
B: Even for more money.
A: So the average price for the people who had chosen their own tickets was…
B: Exactly. Even though there was exactly the same change of winning they were a lot more reluctant to sell.
A: I see. And this tells us…..
B: People are deluded. They think they have a choice but they haven’t. Stop kidding yourself. Life is predetermined. Don’t bother fighting it. We’re born. We live. We die.
A: An interesting conclusion to draw. May I suggest something about ownership and choice?
B: I see. So you feel that if you give people some choice they will take more ownership.
A: Something like that. Just look at Deal or No Deal.
B: I see. So in change management terms you can pretend people have a choice and that’ll help you. For instance if you give them 3 options where 2 are rubbish they’ll be left with the one you want and they’ll think they chose it. And they’ll be more likely to implement it?
A: Not exactly what I had in mind.
A: Well it’s never a good to manipulate people is it?
B: Why not?
A: Well on a spiritual level it’s bad karma.
B: And on a non-spiritual level?
A: When they find out they’ll be really naffed off and will more than likely want to give you a slap.
B: Point taken.
A: So. It’s a useful insight into perceived choice, ownership and perhaps something about not wanting to let go off something.
B: Even some aspects of luck and a feeling inside that says “I choose that ticket, so it’s part of me, It’s my destiny.” in a kind of back to listening to that inner voice, living in a forest, dancing in the moonlight, semi-spiritual way.
A: Ah no…