05 January 2013

The Paradox of Choice; Barry Schwartz

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is LessThe Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This type of book is overly general by necessity, ditto victim to much repetition. However here there are some interesting kernels to take with you once you've read it.

We open with the example of shopping for jeans - the author wears his until they fall apart, so hasn't gone in a long while. Suddenly there's a plethora of choices: fit, cut, color, weight, etc. What used to be an easy task has become filled with too many options to sort out. Having just been through this myself, this truly resonated with me! It's nearly impossible to find the jeans of my youth, and one place actually wanted me to go through some exotic measuring program so I could find the exact fit (which only gave size and still left me with too many options).

How we approach this overabundance of selection is what interests the author. Are we maximizers? sufficers? how can we make the experience of shopping better, without suffering buyers remorse or paralysis in the face of too many choices.

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