Analysis Of Barry Schwartz's 'The Paradox Of Choice: Why Less Is More'

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Barry Schwartz’s “The Paradox of Choice: Why less is more” is a book about having too many choices, and the negative impact on society. Schwartz explains that being given too many options can lead people to experience high levels of anxiety that could eventually turn into depression. He found, when given a “trade-off decision,” Schwartz (2000); a choice between two things, people found it nearly impossible to decide between the two items. Schwartz defined this as a loss because a person feels once they have to decide on one thing or another they are giving something up, and that in turn makes either choice less satisfying. As opposed to if they were only given one choice, which made people feel satisfied with their decision. In reality, there …show more content…
Accordingly, it can lead to stress, self-doubt, and self-blame for making a poor decision. In a study by Antti Oulasvirta and Janne Hukkinen search engine use was observed. “When more is less the paradox of choice search engine use” discusses how the abundant amount of choices given when searching on the internet to find out information can have a negative impact on subjects using it. This article supports Schwartz’ belief that too much choice can lead to big problems. Oulasvirta and Hukkinen acknowledge that from a cognitive psychology point of view “choice overload” can have a few negative effects Oulasvirta and Hukkinen (2009). Choice overload is described in a situation as having two interesting items to choose from, each as exciting as the other, causing an inner turmoil in the person having to decide between the two. They refer to these negative effects as “paralysis, poor choice making, and overall dissatisfaction with choices, even if they are not poor decisions” Oulasvirta and Hukkinen (2009). The study resulted in; six- item lists being “associated with higher satisfaction, confidence and perceived carefulness, over the item that resulted in 24 item list.” Out of the subjects used the researchers state that none were maximizers based off of Schwartz’ scale. They also observed that “paralysis was prominent in this experiment,” and goes on to state that uncertainty of results, such as a different …show more content…
Oulasvirta and Hukkinen even state in their conclusion that in a different environment their study may not be applicable. In a study, one should be able to assume that the results will be the same inside and outside of the laboratory with little variance. This fact alone brings to light that this study has no real result in either direction. It is very evident that the little research that has been done to prove whether choice overload has any effect on people sways dramatically in both directions with no conclusive evidence that it even

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