Academic journal article et Cetera

The Paradox of Choice

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Paradox of Choice

Article excerpt

Barry Schwartz. The Paradox of Choice. New York: Ecco, 2004.

Barry Schwartz, the author of this well-researched and well-reasoned book, maintains that 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 retirement plan, everyday decisions - both big and small - have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choices with which we are presented.

Many assume that more choice equals better options and greater satisfaction. Not so, says Schwartz. He argues that too much choice 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 lead you to blame yourself for any failures. This constellation of obstacles can cause decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and continual stress. And in a culture that tells you there is no excuse for falling short of perfection where your options are vast, excessive choice can result in clinical depression (studies indicate that the rate of clinical depression in America today is ten times greater than what it was at the turn of the twentieth century). …

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