Saturday, December 8, 2012

Last One

I have been a part of many organizations on campus, but I never realized how many different economic ideas are functioning within them. I have learned much from the course, starting with the insurance models to a more in depth look at the Prisoner's Dilemma. I also found the discussion of the ways that managers lead their team based on model 1 and 2 very interesting. It made me realize why sometimes I do not get along with my managers and gave me an insight to both sides of thinking on this issue. 

I did enjoy that there was a significant math aspect to the course despite it being challenging. I do think though that maybe we did not spend enough time on those concepts as the exam scores reflect this fact. The equations were sometimes difficult to comprehend so it made it harder to study them on my own. I think blogging in this class was a good idea. I also think that it would be beneficial if we spent more class time on discussing the ideas we expressed in our blogs. At the beginning of the semester, we seemed to be doing that more often and towards the end, we did not really discuss the posts anymore.  

I also enjoyed that we often had class discussions and participation was encouraged. As a senior, I am very much used to having just pure lectures so this was refreshing to have a class based on discussion. Overall, I enjoyed the course, thank you for being our teacher.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wanted and Unwanted Reputations

 Personal reputations are a huge factor in influencing behavior of all types. What I find very interesting is how those reputations form. Some can form instantaneously and are very hard to change. For example classiness, how a person presents themselves to others. If one sees a person screaming down the street drunk in a not so presentable outfit, a reputation is formed based on an impression, especially if the person making the judgement on the individual does not know the person that well. Some can take a very long time  to form. The general rule is that bad reputations form very quickly and are super hard to change, whereas a respectable reputation takes longer to establish and is very easy to lose. 

An example of a reputation that I received within a couple hours with a group was when I was working on a house for Habitat for Humanity. I help with builds often and I have been a part of building many houses, therefore my knowledge of what needs to be done and how it needs to be done is greater than other volunteers that often volunteer for the first time. This weekend I was helping out on a house and a group of students came to help us at noon. The person who was in charge of the build was busy on the roof so I approached the group of four students and outlined to them what they needed to be doing. Later, the group grew to about 14 volunteers. Most of them for the day approached me with questions about what to do or how something needs to be done. I was glad to answer of course. At the end of the day, many of them came up to me asking me if I was employed by Habitat. I told them that I was a volunteer just like them. 

In this situation, a positive very strong reputation formed that I was in charge. By answering their questions, without really trying, I enforced this reputation. In this situation, I did not want to stray from my reputation as I was not aware of it until they told me at the end of the day they thought I was employed for Habitat. 

Another reputation that I hold amongst my friends is that I am very outgoing, meaning I am not afraid to approach almost anyone and talk to them, it is very easy for me to make friends and am very likable by all. While this is a good reputation to have, there are times that I want to stray away from my reputation. Firstly, being outgoing is an act that anyone can develop or do. My friends view it as me having this magical skill that they simply do not posses, while in reality if they tried approaching people, they can do the same. I do admit that some people are more outgoing than others, but it is a skill one can develop. I was shy for most of my life myself. When I tell them this, they disregard it. There are times at social settings that I have been asked to approach maybe a guy my friend finds an interest in to enable her to talk to him or her. While this is fine, sometimes their expectations are too much. For example at a party that we do not know anyone, they would say go make friends so we can talk to people or my friend asked me on her birthday if I can get guys to buy her and another girl drinks. 

Reputations develop whether they are wanted or not. Some reputations such as being a leader, I cherish and try to foster to make them grow by enforcing them with actions. Some form without me trying and some reputations are unwanted. Regardless of how they form, reputations are very strong in persuading or having an impact on an individual's behavior based on the reputation of another.