This or That: The Psychological Context


In the famous sci-fi action thriller matrix Reloaded, Morpheus and team confront the French businessman on their quest to find the ‘key maker’. The French man gives a philosophical explanation for the choices we make in our lives:

”Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without.”

For our discussion let’s consider the first part of this quote alone. As long as we live we are bound to make choices. From a crawling child to a man in his death bead, everyone has choices to make. None spared.

Human mind is conditioned to make choices from the binary world around them. Yes, the world around us is binary. There are always two things available for us t choose from. Democratic or Republican, BJP or Congress, Atheism or Theism, this religion or that religion, the list goes on. If we carefully observe the methods adopted by us during the moments of making choices, we might find something striking. Though the choices before us are umpteen, we distill them down to just two. This is perhaps the human mind is conditioned ‘to choose between’ rather than ‘to choose among’. This is the same reason, why we find a questionnaire on any topic swarmed with mere yes or no questions.


Have you ever thought how you choose something in your life? How often have your choices been based on you personal and real needs? We all have opinions. Even our choices over materialistic things are based on ‘popular choices’. This might not sound new to you; you know it’s the fact. When majority of the people have some common opinion over something we call it ‘popular opinion’. Fiction read by many is termed ‘popular’ fiction. The word ‘popular’ used here infer the unanimity of the choices that made by majority members of the society.

When an individual opts for the popular choice, he/she feels safe. The mere thought of being with everyone comes as a psychological reliever. From the individual’s point of view it is less demanding to stick on with the popular choice. Joining a crowd is much easier than standing alone. Because to stand alone one needs to have a proper- if not complete- understanding of the side he/she takes and it demands much more courage.

“Saying ‘yes’ to something is always much easier than a ‘no’. Acceptance never requires an explanation but denial always does. Denial needs more surety and clarity over what’s been denied.”

Walk Away

This human nature to cling on with the popular choices and opinions, play a pivotal role in shaping up the common traits of the society that becomes the identity of that society on the whole. Cultural traits, continual of traditions, blind beliefs, superstitions- all root in this. This article focuses on the human choice of clinging to the popular opinion on the psychological realm. We shall see the same on the materialistic realm, much upon which the consumerism in based, in the following post.


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