Barry Schwartz on Why Too Much Choice is Bad for Us

Thanks to Olenka who pointed me to this great talk by Barry Schwartz on why too much choice is bad for us.

Too many choices cause:

  1. Paralysis rather than liberation – people prefer to make no decision rather than make a complicated choice.
  2. Less satisfaction with decisions as people have greater reason to regret the decisions they have made.
  3. Unrealistic expectations.
  4. Self-blame – when experiences are not perfect, people blame themselves.

Schwartz also argues that in modern affluent societies, too much choice may be a significant contributor to depression. He is the author of ‘The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less‘.

About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 9 September 2007

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