Does having too many choices make us less happy? Jim Sollisch had an interesting comment on Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (HarperPerennial, 2005) in an op-ed page piece in the Wall Street Journal www.benadorassociates.com/article/20651:
“Barry Schwartz, a social scientist at Swarthmore, makes the case in his book The Paradox of Choice that that unlimited choice produces genuine suffering. The more choices we have to make, the less certainty we seem to have. When we have 285 kinds of cookies to choose from in the grocery store, how can we be sure we’ve picked the right one? And that’s just cookies. When faced with seemingly unlimited choices that have significant consequences like which stocks to invest in, which career to pursue or even which person to marry, many people become what Professor Schwartz calls ‘maximizers’: people who relentlessly search for the best option. These people spend a great deal of time and energy on choices that will never satisfy them.”
© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.