Dan Ariely's main idea in this video is that even though we feel that we are making our own decisions, we don't actually have as much control over them as we think. He explains how most of the decisions we "make" are made for us, due to how the situation in is presented. There are illusions all around us, which are based on our previous choices, which then influence the next decision we make. To show how accurate this is, here is the example Ariely gave in the TED Talk:
The amount of organ donors was calculated in Europe, the left are countries that have a low percentage of donors, and the right are countries with a high percentage of people participating. Now the question is why is there such a big difference, why do some countries have a lot of donors and others have very little? Ariely explains that the gap isn't the difference in culture, as the countries with similar backgrounds exhibit different statistics, (Germany is on the left and Austria is on the right). But that the gap it created due to how the question is written on the from at the DMV. The countries on the left have a form saying, "Check the box below if you want to participate in the organ donor program." So "they don't check, and they don't join." The countries on the right have a form saying "Check the box below if you don't want to participate in the organ donor program." People see this and they don't check, but they join. He uses this example to further explain what I previously said in the first paragraph.
This idea relates really well to tragedies, more specifically to Oedipus. Ariely is saying that our future is, for the most part already decided, and that even if we want to change this it will likely still end the same way. This is what happened to Oedipus, he tried to change the prophecy by making his "own" decisions, but ended up with the same outcome he was trying to avoid. I think that this is what happens in tragedies a lot, when a character is trying to escape a certain fate, but ends up with the same out come because the decisions were already set in place.
This TED Talk changed how I see the final outcome of a characters life, and the decisions leading up to it. It showed me that the decisions the characters make are all for a certain reason, and not just because the author wrote it that way. It also showed me that we experience this limitation in real life as well because we make decisions based off of a previous one, and the illusions that present themselves. Overall, it was an eye opening video. It was very interestin to hear and see examples of how our brains interpret things so differently with such small changes. It helped to further my thoughts about the decisions I make in my everyday life. I also feel that it will help me to think more deeply about the characters in tragedies.