The Paradox of Choice

”’Barry Schwartz – Paradox of Choice
Barry Schwartz, a Swarthmore College professor, citing research results from psychologists, economists, market researchers and decision scientists makes five counter-intuitive arguments in this book, The Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More. We would be better off if we:

  1. Voluntarily constrained our freedom of choice.
  2. Sought “good enough” instead of “the best.”
  3. Lowered our expectations about decision’s results.
  4. Made nonreversible decisions.
  5. Paid less attention to what others around us do.

Schwartz notes we are constantly being asked to make choices, even about the simplest things. This forces us to “invest time, energy, and no small amount of self-doubt, and dread.” There comes a point, he contends, at which choice becomes debilitating rather than liberating. Too much of a good thing becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being, he states.
In the final chapter , Schwartz offers an 11-step program for reducing choice’s “tyranny.”

  1. Choose when to choose.
  2. Be a Chooser, not a picker.
  3. Satisfice more; maximize less.
  4. Consider the opportunity costs of opportunity costs.
  5. Make your decisions nonreversible.
  6. Adopt an “attitude of gratitude.”
  7. Regret less.
  8. Anticipate adaptation.
  9. Control expectations.
  10. Curtail social comparisons.
  11. Learn to love constraints.

External Links

Paradox of Choice, The