Barry Schwartz on Why Too Much Choice is Bad for Us

Too many choices cause paralysis rather than liberation.

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‘.

Author: Dr Jeremy Dean

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology. He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004.

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