The Paradox of Choice

September 27, 2007

I like this video of Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice at the TED conference talking through his thesis that too much choice results in too much misery. I’ll write more about this at a later stage, particularly as it relates to my own research but for now, from the TED site:

Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central belief of western societies: that freedom of choice leads to personal happiness. In Schwartz’s estimation, all that choice is making us miserable. We set unreasonably high expectations, question our choices before we even make them, and blame our failures entirely on ourselves. His relatable examples, from consumer products (jeans, TVs, salad dressings) to lifestyle choices (where to live, what job to take, whom and when to marry), underscore this central point: Too many choices undermine happiness.