Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Paradox of Choice

It has long been my belief that if everyone seems to agree on something it must certainly be false. This belief is the source of endless hours of enjoyable argument. It amazing how difficult some people find it to justify commonly held beliefs. All you have to do is ask the wrong questions. The right questions are easily answered.

Anyway I recently found this fantastic talk, less than 20 minutes long, on the Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz, of whom I'd never heard, which challenges the widely held belief that more choice is always good. He argues persuasively that more choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied. I love the 175 different salad dressings available in his local store. I haven't counted them in my local.

The answer to the question in the cartoon above, which Schwartz uses in the talk, is "No".

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