Malcolm Gladwell on Why More Choice Means More Profit

For this diverting TED talk Malcolm Gladwell of ‘The Tipping Point’ and ‘Blink’ fame, is asked to discuss the pursuit of happiness. So he talks about the development of spaghetti sauce, quite naturally. This pean is particularly interesting as it shows exactly why consumer markets are incentivised to offer us more choice. The polar opposite of what Barry Schwartz explains in his TED talk: why too much choice is bad for us. The best balance probably lies somewhere in between.

Gladwell is really talking about ancient history here in terms of product marketing. Most industries have long since adopted the mantra that increasing choice means increasing profits, and now most have probably taken it too far. Hence, Schwartz’s talk.

About the author

Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog and 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: 24 September 2007

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