In addition to communication design, is design of space and choice. We often underestimate the external conditions and overestimate our internal agency. This is revealed when words cross into actions, when stated becomes a revealed preferences, when someone walks the walk rather than talks the talk.
This came up when Tyler Cowen asked model-turned-academic Ashley Mears about the kinds of people who go to nightclubs and order bottle service. Are they more narcissistic, “do you know think that most men, given the opportunity, could slide into that world?”
‘Well’, adjusting our posture, ‘I would never do that.’
Here’s what Mears said:
“I think that most men could slide into that world. There are some people for which this really ticks the box, satisfies the need to be seen, to feel high status, and to be validated in this way. It's not necessarily a stable attribute over their life, it might just fit the culture they're immersed in.
“On the other hand, a lot of the academics who look at this and hold their nose would probably enjoy a night or two out in these arenas. A nightclub is really good at orchestrating this experience so it feels good.”
Conditions matter. The world around us affects our choices. We can use this to redesign our world and have empathy for others, who make choices in theirs.