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The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

de Barry Schwartz

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2,499414,513 (3.74)33
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 decisions--both big and small--have 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 choice--the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish--becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice--from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs--has 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.… (més)
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» Mira també 33 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 41 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Needlessly long, labouring the point well past usefulness. Nothing controversial or even surprising. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
This is one of those books that, if you read the introduction, you pretty much know what the rest of the book is about. As I wrote in my personal blog for this book, "anyhow, once you read the prologue, the author gives such a clear road map that the incentive to read the rest of the book is minimal other than to read the illustrations for his arguments." I borrowed it from the UHD Library. If I recall, the reason I wanted to read it was because another blog I follow made a reference to it.

See the rest of my note on the book here:

[http://itinerantlibrarian.blogspot.com/2007/05/booknote-paradox-of-choice.html] ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
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 reality that too many choices leads to increased dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

This outcome is the confluence of multiple factors: Increased choice means we bear a greater responsibility for the outcomes of decisions; this responsibility compels some people to seek to maximize the value of each choice, which alone is a time-consuming effort that deprives them of other things in life that are known to be more directly related to life satisfactions, like social relationships; but because we cannot consider all possible options, any decision made is already tainted with regret and other negative emotions that decrease the psychological satisfaction and enjoyment of the thing chosen. Although Americans live in a world of increased affluence and choices, the cumulative effect is that we are increasingly miserable and depressed. ( )
  dono421846 | Jan 1, 2020 |
A good book that shows how having too many choices can lead to stress and anxiety. ( )
  ffifield | Oct 31, 2018 |
Interesting ideas about abundant choice and its effect on emotional well-being. My main complaint is that this book is a bit oversimplified -- I would have liked more supporting details/citations/anecdotes than Schwartz tended to give... I felt like I already knew most of this coming in based on his appearance on Radio Lab.

Still, interesting. ( )
  akaGingerK | Sep 30, 2018 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 41 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Schwartz, in an effort to help us mend our ways, applies to individual shoppers Simon’s distinction between maximizing and satisficing. A maximizer is someone who “can’t be certain that she has found the best sweater unless she’s looked at all the sweaters,” Schwartz writes.
 
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About six years ago, I went to the Gap to buy a pair of jeans.
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Wikipedia en anglès (5)

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 decisions--both big and small--have 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 choice--the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish--becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice--from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs--has 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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