Essay about Ariely Ch. 9

Submitted By swede3370
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Rhetorical Analysis

Ariely begins this chapter talking about how if you have ever worked in any organization then you would know that working in a team takes up a lot of your time. By doing this he is appealing to the readers logical appeal about how they should know that a large part of their time is spent working in groups. He also states that a large part of economic activity and decision making takes place during collaboration. Next, Ariely provides a statistic saying that more than half of all U.S. employees currently spend part of their day working in collaborative group in the work place. Ariely then tells the reader to look at this on a person level and asks the reader to think back to the last six months and try to count the number of meeting, team projects, and collaborative experiences that took place. Ariely then states that the majority of the work done by MBA students is done in group work. The same thing is also said about undergraduate classes. By providing all of this knowledge Ariely is appealing to the readers sense of emotion by showing them that most of the work that they do is done in group work or collaboration even though they might not notice it. Ariely then starts off the next paragraph with an example of logos by telling the readers that many people believe that working in a group has more of a positive influence on the group than a negative influence. Ariely then goes on to say that research has proven that collaboration can actually decrease the quality of decisions made by the group. In the next paragraph Ariely uses a personal anecdote to try and sway the readers mind about collaboration. He begins to talk about a woman who he has named Jennifer. Jennifer was working at a CPA when she had her bad experience with group work. Her job was to produce the documents that would inform the shareholders about their company’s affairs. The team that Jennifer was working with eventually got the documents completed, but when she turned them in to her boss he was less than pleased with the numbers that her and her team had come up with. Jennifer didn’t know whether the team came up with the wrong numbers or if he wanted them to give more presentable numbers that made the company look better. This is an example of pathos, by telling Jennifer and the group that he didn’t “like the numbers” the boss was appealing to the group’s sense of emotion, and how they care about the company. Jennifer didn’t know if her boss wanted her to dummy up some numbers to make the company look better or if they had actually done something wrong. Another appeal to emotion is whether or not Jennifer wanted to go against the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP. These are guidelines that most accountants follow that allow them a certain amount of leeway when giving a company’s quarterly or annual numbers. This also appeals to the groups sense of ethics, was lying about the numbers ethical? Well, the GAAP states that accountants must act “in good faith” when reflecting about a company’s financial status. Jennifer and the group decided to comply with their bosses request and produced the numbers that he was looking for. This was an appeal to their sense of logic. Jennifer and her team knew that their boss knew more about accounting than they did, so it was a pretty easy decision to go ahead and do what he told them to. Later on, after thinking about Jennifer’s story, Ariely was thing about how the decision to change the numbers a little bit was a group decision. At that point it sort of hit Ariely that this was different from anything that he and his team had studied before. Before Ariely knew about Jennifer’s experience all of the experiments that he had previously done were about a single person, and never about a team. Ariely then began to wonder. Does group collaboration have an effect on individual honesty (or dishonesty)? Ariely wants to…