The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, Revised Edition

Harper Collins, 13 . 2009 . - 304 .

Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisionsboth big and smallhave become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented.

As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.

In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choicethe hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherishbecomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choicefrom the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needshas paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.

By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.

 

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LibraryThing Review

  - dono421846 - LibraryThing

The author points out the inherent contradiction between our political ideology that says that personal freedom should be unlimited, leaving us free to choose whatever we want, and the psychological ...

LibraryThing Review

  - Cataloger623 - LibraryThing

This book is an argument for the idea that the proliferations of choices we choose from is making us sick and in fact is reducing the quality of and happiness surrounding the choices we make. This is ...

A Road
1
New Choices
28
HOW WE CHOOSE
45
when only the Best will Do
77
Choice and Happiness
99
Missed opportunities
117
If only The Problem of regret
147
Why Everything Suffers from Comparison
181
Whose Fault Is It? Choice
201
What to Do About Choice
221

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 (2009)

Barry Schwartz is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College. He is the author of several books, including Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing, with Kenneth Sharpe, and Why We Work. His articles have appeared in many of the leading journals in his field, including American Psychologist.