Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less

I haven't posted much up here lately. I've been very busy at work and when I'm home I've been keeping myself pretty busy doing things around the apartment. When I haven't been painting, cleaning or buying things for the apartment I've been reading a lot of books instead of spending as much time as usual on the internet.

One of the books I read last week is: The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz.

It's an excellent book and I highly recommend it.

The central idea of the book is that there are too many choices available for practically everything in our lives. In contradiction to what you might expect, this freedom of choice doesn't seem to be making us happier overall. Instead, we seem to feel overwhelmed that everything is a choice where there are a large amount of options that have to be considered. When all is said and done and the decision is made we tend to feel like there's still something better out there. (A lot of this also ties in to my views on how advertising promotes this feeling of never being satisfied with things that merely meet your needs because there is always something cooler, better or newer available.)

I found the book to be well written and somewhat funny at times and I blew through reading it very quickly.

For anyone who is interested, I came across a preview of the book. (Note: It is deliberately missing pages for copyright reasons but it should give you a little bit of a feel for the book.)

I also JUST came across a video of a Google TechTalk presentation by Barry Schwartz that I haven't had a chance to watch yet... but I thought I'd link it up here anyway.

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