“Mobilizing theories of ‘rankings’” by Kusunoki Ken, business scholar
Rankings begins with comparison. People nowadays always compare themselves with others, and others with others. People are naturally drawn to rankings that decide which is better. This is how listicles become the regular articles in media.
However, the true rankings need to satisfy the following three requirements: Completeness, asymmetry, and transitivity (definitions omitted). Aside from a case such as the largest lake in the world, many actual rankings do not satisfy these requirements. Subjective standards intervene. There is a room to manipulate something to get the higher rankings. It is discernment that matters in handling with abundant rankings around them.
Therefore, this book focuses on rules of social games that is called rankings. This book showcases not only theories that are based on rankings mentioned above, but also findings and discussions from human behaviours, cognition, social psychology, politics, computational neuroscience.
Here I take up the example of bounded rationality theory. When maximization and satifice (definition omitted) are compared, [people with] the latter tends to have higher level of happiness. Logically speaking, it may sound happier to have many choices, but it is cognitively impossible to evaluate every choice consistently. One may regret to not have chosen the best choice, or one may also be tortured by anxiety not to want to miss anything. Rather than making a complete list to weigh up, it follows that one should “marry someone who is not so bad.”
Among a wide variety of theories introduced in this book, I have found the discussion of this bounded rationality the most interesting. The second best is ‘impossibility theorem’ in social selection. The third best is ‘comparability criteria’, which discussed the relationship between qualitative difference and quantitative difference. Of course, this ranking is based on this reviewer’s subjective criteria.