The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

Have you ever been overwhelmed by the number of options and choices you have for one single decision? What about a seemingly endless stream of choices and options? What about always feeling regret and anxiety after finally making a choice and taking action? In Paradox of Choice author Barry Schwartz explores the psychology of choice from an economic, professional, and personal perspective. Backed up by research, this book uses a model of “types of choice makers” - Satisficers and Optimizers, each having it’s positive attributes but also, when in the extreme, can result in significant psychological impairments. I’ve experienced plenty of the symptoms this book describes but I’ve also seen it play out as I raise my children. They’re overwhelmed by choice ALL THE TIME that we as parents and society impose upon them. This book was an eye opener from a personal level but also as a professional in continuous improvement, management, and engineering. Being deliberate and well thought out when presenting alternatives and choices for decision makers will much more beneficial for everyone in the long run if they are trimmed down, paced, and crafted in appropriate ways. This book will help you identify your own choice making attributes, those in others, as well as how to step back from feeling overwhelmed or overwhelming others with choice. I recommend this book extensively to parents, managers, marketers, consultants, engineers, and UW Philosophy Department professors and graduate students.