And if that's your reply, go back and reread all my posts replacing "primary goal" with "actual goal," because the wording isn't specific.

It doesn't make any more sense with that. Pretty much nobody would say that because they wouldn't do Y if X wasn't true, X is their actual goal for Y. Any term that they would use is such that substituting it in makes your original statement not very insightful.

(For instance, most people wouldn't call X a primary goal or an actual goal, but they might call X a necessary condition. But if you were to say "people found something other than healing to be a necessary condition for buying a report", that would not really say much that isn't already obvious.)

The relevant comparison is more like this one: suppose you preferred a poorly reviewed book with a superior cover to a well reviewed book with an inferior cover.

I prefer a poorly reviewed book that costs $10 to a well reviewed book that costs $5000. By your reasoning I "care more about the price than about the reviews".

(I will note, though, that one can view many college classes as the equivalent of "spending $5000 to read a good book.")

That's fighting the hypothetical.

Pretty much nobody would say that because they wouldn't do Y if X wasn't true, X is their actual goal for Y.

I think this reveals our fundamental disagreement: I am describing people, not repeating people's self-descriptions, and since I am claiming that people are systematically mistaken about their self-descriptions, of course there should be a disagreement between them!

That is, suppose Alice "goes to restaurants for the food" but won't go to any restaurants that have poor decor / ambiance, but will go to restaurants that have good ambiance ... (read more)

Open Thread, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3, 2016

by [anonymous] 1 min read27th Dec 2015145 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.

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