Nir’s Note: This post part of a series on cognitive bias co-authored with and illustrated by Lakshmi Mani. Discover other reasons you make terrible life choices like confirmation bias and hyperbolic discounting.There I was, looking at an enormous wall of television screens. Each one flashed the exact same scene — a beautiful flower slowly blooming to reveal each petal, pistil, and stamen in exquisite super high definition detail. It was downright sexy. But now it was time to make my choice.Would I buy the $400 television within my budget or would I splurge on the $500 deluxe model that somehow helped me understand plant biology in a new, more intimate way?Though every cone and rod in my eyeballs begged me to buy the better one, my more sensible instinct kicked in. “Your budget is $400, remember?” Sighing, I bought the crappy model and braced for a life of media mediocrity.But then, a strange thing happened. When I fired up the new set at home, it looked fine. Better than fine in fact. It looked great! I couldn’t figure out why I even wanted the pricier model in the first place.