[PDF/EPUB] The Paradox of Choice Why More Is Less ☆ Barry Schwartz – Epub, eBook and Kindle free
In The Paradox of Choice Schwartz focuses on two basic ways of making decisions maximizing trying to make the very best possible choice and satisficing making a choice that will do well enough all things consideredIn the past I ve thought of these two approaches in terms of the decisions that need to be made not in terms of the person making them For example when picking a spouse or a house one may want to take a lot of time and make the best possible decision When selecting a restaurant or an article of clothing satisficing is usually the best approach Schwartz divides the world into maximizers and satisficers a notion that I found very interesting One of his themes is that maximizers can drive themselves crazy by trying to make the best possible decision in every situation it follows that satisficers tend to be healthier As a congenital satisficer and friend to a couple of maximizers I found the argument compelling I think the book has some good insights into the stresses of modern living and I highly recommend it for people who like to think about how they think Five stars not for the writing but for the overall content He could have said everything he needed to say in a few page article and it s pretty redundant But it s still a really uick read so what s the harmThere are so many things in here that are so interesting and apply to tons of situations and decisions every day Things that people constantly do to themselves without thinking and could be so much happier if they knew they were doing it I am basically recommending that everyone I know read this book not all of it is going to be new or blow your mind but overall it s ust full of information that everyone should know and be able to refer to as ust facts This is one of those books that once you ve read it permanently shifts your perspective It made me think altogether differently about the value of having MORE choices As the author argues your sense of well being increases when you go from having no choices to having a few choices But as you go from having a few choices to having many choices your happiness typically goes down Why Because it s time consuming and stressful to choose between all those alternatives You become fearful of making a mistake of not making the absolute best choice And often the time you spend making that perfect choice the unhappy you are second guessing yourself after the fact Did I make a mistake How to get out of this dilemma Limit your choices to a handful that satisfy your criteria Then stop adding alternatives Make your selection as uickly as you can given the available information and the importance of the decision Buying a house warrants careful consideration and lots of time Buying a coffee maker does notThis may sound kind of self evident but can be extraordinarily difficult to put into practice whether it has to do with choosing mates or picking a university to attend The book is well supported by lots of experimental evidence Well worth reading Highly recommended The premise of this book did interest me What I thought was going to be a book that analyzed how the abundances of choice or at least the appearance of choice affects our perception of freedom satisfaction and enjoyment turned out to be a repetitive book that sounds like an older guy complaining why there are so many different types of beans in the supermarketI ust want a can of beans Why are there so many types Just give me beansHonestly at one point he does appear to bemoan the variety of beans that are available in the common supermarket Not really the kind of abundance of choice I was expecting to be inhibiting our every day lives He goes on to provide anecdotes about how hard he is finding it to adjust to so much choice now available in the modern market place He describes the agony of picking out a pair of A God In The Shed jeans since there are so many different cuts available since clothing designers have figured out that there is than one body typeAnd it is his approach to buyingeans that honestly made me loose respect in his approach to the whole subject of choice What he does is he sees that there are so many different cuts he can t decide therefor he buys all the different types tries them on at home to figure out which one work for him And
There I Was Thinking Isn I was thinking Isn that what dressing rooms are for He We Went Looking just made the whole process convoluted and difficult than necessary which made me think what other concepts did heust add an unnecessary level of complexity toI really find it hard to think that it is better for a clothing store to ignore different body types and to ust make clothes that fits one ideal body type to make one shopping experience easier The truth "Is Everyone Has To "everyone has to through finding out the cut of eans
"that work best "work best you and then after that point you The Aliens Among Us just remember and pick the cut you know fits you after that experience Someone really doesn t reevaluate and try on all the different cuts every single time they go to buyeans Just like people know their size people know their cut Unless there is a size 6 who tries sizes 0 14 only to realize that a size 6 still is the size that fits her the bestHe even tried to argue that having than one place to vacation to was a bad thing That deciding made the experiences significantly less enjoyable I don t know about him but once I have decided and I am on vacation I don t really think about where I could have been but where I am currently A vacation is a vacation it is kind of hard to ruin themThis author could have made very valid points but many times the anecdotes he provided made him sound like a confused annoyed aging man who wants things to be like the good old days his examples and scenarios weren t good at all picking out beans buying eans or where to go on a vacation etc and also he would provide very little evidence to back up the claims that choice was making us miserable The Paradox of Choice is a 236 page treatises on why too much choice can be debilitating It can be summed up in its sub sub title Why the Culture of Abundance Robs Us of Satisfaction Why a book needs a sub title under the sub title beats me The problem is that we spend too much time and energy trying to make choices that in the grand scheme of things don t matter that much I agree with the big idea but I hated the book and here s why Schwartz could have made his point in a fine three page article we don t need 236 pages of examples to get the idea Yeah there is too much choice and we need to spend uality time making the choices that matter like where to work and who to be in a commited relationship with and less time picking out what cereal to buy So you get the gist Make the right choice and leave this book on the shelf Potentially life changing I first heard of this book from a friend who explained it in terms of dating In the span of time between her first date with her husband and the day they finally got married she had married and divorced someone else Why Because when he first met her he couldn t decide There were so many other women available he was afraid of missing out on the right one and wanted to try out options That is the paradox of choice The options that are available the harder it is to decideAll of that seemed perfectly logical to me but until I read this book I didn t think it applied to me I m not indecisive But what I discovered after reflecting on what I learned from this book is that I m a decision avoider Unlike my friend s husband I m not apt to try out many options I Learning to choose is hard Learning to choose well is harder And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still perhaps too hard Barry Schwartz The Paradox of Choice Why More Is Less A solid survey of the behavioral economics literature related to the pre. About the Book The Paradox of Choice In the spirit of Alvin Tofflers Future Shock a social critiue of our obsession with choice and how it contributes to anxiety dissatisfaction and regret Whether we're buying a pair of eans ordering a cup of coffee selecting a long distance carrier applying to college choosing a doctor or setting up a 401K everyday decisions have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented In The Paradox of Choice Barry Schwartz explains why too. .
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Ur energy instead into improving the relationship rather than second guessing it 6 Practice an attitude of gratitude the same experience can have delightful and disappointing aspects and its up to us what we focus on everyday list 5 things that happened which you are grateful for you may be surprised 7 Regret Less practice gratitude for what is good in a decision rather than focusing on bad 8 Anticipate adaptation develop realistic expectations about how experiences change with time and how we satisfied with only higher levels of experience over time the double wammy 9 Control expectations remove excessively high ones allow for serendipity 10 Curtail social comparison learning that good enough is good enough will automatically reduce social comparison focus on what makes you happy and what gives meaning to your life 11 Learn to love constraints they can be liberating this choice overload context following rules can free up timeenergy for situations where rules don t work Maybe I don t read enough Psychology but I thought this book was fantastic Swarth Psychology professor Barry Schwartz s basic thesis is that the world is divided into two types of person maximizers who want to find the absolute best option and satisficers who want to find something that is good enough and not worry that something better might be out there He also links maximizing to the high and increasing incidence of clinical depression in the developed world and believes that satisficing is the best option for coping in a world in which we are overwhelmed with choiceHe also introduces a bunch of other interesting topicsHedonic Adaptation Whatever we enjoy and that makes us happy we will adapt to and thus derive less pleasure from in subseuent experiences The law of diminishing returns restated in psychological termsSatisfaction Treadmill We also become adapted to a certain level of satisfaction so that once we have experienced a certain level of satisfaction a previous level of satisfaction will actually make us less happy than before This is apparently not very well developed research which is how I felt about itChoosing Choice Individuals will always choose to have options I d rather have 30 types of wine to choose from rather than 6 but are actually made happier when there are less options In the previous example those presented with only 6 options were far likely to buy than those presented with 30 and they also experienced far higher satisfaction with their purchase This is the behavior that leads to the overwhelming range of options we face in modern life Another interesting example 65% of people who didn t have cancer said that if they got it they would want to choose their treatment of those who actually had cancer 88% said they would not prefer to choose In other words our perception of what we would want from a choice standpoint is not the same thing as what we actually want when we get thereThe Peak End Rule of Satisfaction Our satisfaction with an experience is defined by two key components the peak of the experience good or bad and the end of the experience good or bad So a mediocre vacation with an amazing peak and conclusion will be remembered in retrospect as satisfying than a vacation that was consistently good but never great Daniel KahnemanSalience and Availability When making decisions the salience how conspicuous or vivid a data point is and availability of our situation matters greatly This is why people Dsusaga Konan Me Gulu Tskuna judge murders and airline crashes to be far common causes of death than traffic accidents and strokes we hear far about the former two and in far graphic terms than we do about the latter People were far affected by a video testimonial even when warned in advance that this was a highly atypical case than they were by a solid set of research dataFraming and Anchoring What your anchor point is for a decision matters People are much happier getting a discount for paying cash than they are paying a surcharge for using a credit card This is because our satisfaction is not derived in a linear manner 200 is not twice as good as 100 the resultant satisfaction drops off Once again the law of diminishing returns but related to satisfaction Here s a great set of uestions 1 Would you rather have 100 or the option to flip a coin to get 200 on heads or nothing on tails 2 Would you rather lose 100 or have the option to flip a coin and lose 200 on heads or nothing on tails From an economics standpoint there should be no difference in any of these options but 95% of respondents choose the sure 100 because 200 is not twice as good as 100 from a satisfaction standpoint and they choose the option to flip for the 200 loss or nothing because a 200 loss is not twice as bad as a 100 loss Pretty trippy I ve tried this with a bunch of folks and everyone seems to answer according to this patternSunk Costs People have a hard time letting go of sunk costs from a satisfaction standpoint Say you have bought tickets to see a good music group but then a horrible snowstorm hits and you will have to walk to get there and you hate the cold From an economics standpoint the money you paid for the tickets is already gone so you shouldust make your decision about whether or not to go based on how happy you think your decision will make you But people have a very hard time accepting this and are likely to follow a course that will make them unhappy because they already spent the moneyRegret Maximizers are far likely to experience regret than satisficers because they are always susceptible to learning at a later date that a decision they made was actually not the absolute best choice they could have made Not surprisingly regret is highly correlated with unhappiness and depression The author speculates that the large number of maximizers in the general population is related to the fact that "we are evolutionarily ill euipped to deal with the range of choice we "are evolutionarily ill euipped to deal with the range of choice we today and that this was a far useful personality trait prior to the last several hundred years Schwartz says that there are two main factors that affect regret 1 Do we consider ourselves to have personal responsibility for the result I crashed the car vs I was blindsided 2 Can we imagine a counterfactual alternative I could have worked harder in college to get a better ob vs the economy is horrible and no one is making any moneyLearned Helplessness In a somewhat disturbing series of experiments Martin Seligman showed that you can teach rats to learn how to not adapt to environmental changes that harm them electric shocks in this case This concept of learned helplessness is common in unhappy and depressed people and is largely based on what we attribute our successes or failures to Depression and Social Networks A society that lauds autonomy also maybe unintentionally encourages the dissolution of social networks which are one of the best defenses against depression because they prescribe all sorts of constraints for us that limit the range of choices we have
make Reversible Decisions generally prefer to have the option to undo or reverse a decision as a purchase but in actuality we end up less satisfied with a reversible decision than an irreversible decision The author speculates that this is part of the issue with divorce rates marriage is now of a reversible decision than in the past and other social issues we face He suggests that we can find greater satisfaction in life by accepting some decisions as irreversible even if society tells us otherwiseEvaluating an Experience We evaluate experiences on four dimensions1 Comparing the experience to what we hoped it would be2 Comparing the experience to what we expected it would be3 Comparing the experience to other experiences we have had in the past4 Comparing the experience to experiences have had. Choices and how to derive greater satisfaction from choices that we do make About the Author Barry Schwartz Barry Schwartz is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarth College He is the author of several books including The Battle for Human Nature Science Morality and Modern Life and The Costs of Living How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life His articles have appeared in many of the leading ournals in his field including the American Psychologist He lives in Philadelphia Mise that the wide range of choices we have what to read how to read it what rating to give it where to post our review actu Really important book for me Refers to some great research Some highlightsPrologue choice no longer liberates but debilitates choice overload we d be better off if we embraced some limits on choice instead of rebelling by seeking good enough rather than the best by lowering our expectations about our decisions by making our decisions nonreversible and by not comparing ourselves to others as much I When We Choose1 Let s Go Shopping 30% of people bought from the small sample of ams only 3% bought from the large sample those buying from small sample were satisfied2 New Choices healthcare beauty religion 65% say they would choose own treatment if got cancer but only 12% actually do this work is unconstrained by what your parents did or geography a 34 YO has already worked for 9 companies in fact staying with a ob doesn t show loyalty but a lack of ambition II How We Choose3 Deciding and Chooosing experienced expected and remembered utility rarely line up faithfully Kahneman et al s remembering utility by peak end rule people preferred noise that ended less unpleasantly even though maximal unpleasantness lasted longer people rated colonoscopy plus as less unpleasant than rival even effected 5 year follow ups James Twichell Ads are what we know about the world around us availability heuristic we think there are words that start with t than have it has 3rd letter saliency people are swayed by vivid video on how police are even when told it is atypical case people think accidents kill as many as diseases though latter kill 16x homicide strokes latter kills 11x dramatic deaths overestimated and this correlated with newspaper coverage a chooser thinks about conseuences values and can create choices or refuse to make any a picker ust hopes for the best4 When Only the Best Will Do maximizers seek and accept only the best which is a difficult decision strategy when there are many options satisfacers are ok with good enough Herbert Simon who coined the term thought that satisfizing was the maximizing strategy maximizers savor the positive less and do not cope as well as satis take longer to recover from bad stuff are not as happysatisfied with life pessimistic regret and depressed extreme max scoreborderline clinical depression buyer s remorse diminishes satisfaction with choice made and can be anticipatory many choicesmaximizingunhappiness III Why We Suffer5 Choice and Happiness Choice is what enables us to tell the world who we are and what we care about has expressive value close social relations are most important for happiness though decreases autonomy the less barriers to autonomy we have the disturbing the remaining ones are income affects happiness only until people stop being poor tested by looking at different countries at the same time and the same country at different times happy people can attract others and being with others can make people happy it takes time for form close connections to maintain them rules standards and routines can be good we are drawn to people who meet our standards and than we stick with them out of routine we don t think about it everyday6 Missed Opportunities economics says we should only consider opportunity costs of next best alternative so if soccer costs 3 and bball is next best alternative the total cost of soccer is 3 plus missing out on bball participants chose the safer expensive car rather than the cheaper and dangerous one regardless of price 75% of MD s tried a med instead of referring to specialist however 50% referred instead of choice of 2 meds a way of avoiding a decision negatives stand out than positives neg emotions makes for bad decisions and vice versa candy made residents faster and accurate diagnoses students offered 6 topics likely wrote essays they were better than those offered 30 topics students exposed to 30 chocolates liked them less would rather take instead often than those exposed to 6 people marry 5 years later than a generation ago and people stay half as long at obs evolution may have only prepared us to separate good from bad not better from best a ala Nozick people want to be able to reverse decisions however few do and those that have the option are less satisfied the former put psychological work into making things OK7 The Problem of Regret postdecison buyer s reget makes things less enjoyable and predecison which can paralyze bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists near misses hurt people rarely say things could be worse gratitude they usually see how things could be better can inspire sunk costs coaches also give time to high paid players irrespective of performance8 The Problem of Adaptation we get used to things and take them for granted and people don t anticipate this 1973 13% of Americans thought AC in cars was a necessity today 41% lottery winners not happier and accident victims were still pretty happy adaptation can be good in a world of misery hedonic and satisfaction treadmills 9 Why Everything Suffers from Comparison comparisons to what you hopedexpected other experiences other people s experiences theto make Reversible Decisions People generally prefer to have the option to undo or reverse a
of discernment poor teens talked about benefits of internet rich teens talked about drawbacks upward comparisons to others is a lot though "Can Inspire Downward Comparisons "inspire downward comparisons boost self esteem increase positive mood and reduce anxiety when cancer patients encountered other cancer patients in good shape they felt better only compare to people in our pond where we have good chances of being successful this was necessarily the case before most respondants choose better relative position over absolute position with Is happy people were minimally affected by other s skill at the anagram task they were not affected by feedback given to their partner unlike unhappy people the former can distract move on the latter ruminate all this pertains to maximizers vs satisfisers as well which is paradoxical as the best should be independent of how others are doing10 Choice Disappointment and Depression Seligman you ll get depressed at failureloss of control that is attributed in a personal persistent and pervasive way as opposed to global transient and specific attribution optimists do the latter with failure and the former with success pessimists do the opposite suicide is second leading cause of death after accidents among US High School and College students rate among College students has tripled in last 35 years it matters if failure is our fault Americans buy 50 million diet books per year and spend than 50 billion on dieting ultathin cultures have women that are double as depressed as men unattainable expectations tendancy to take personal responsibility badness IV What We Can Do11 What to Do About Choice1 Choose when to choose costs are subtle and cumulative focus on subjective not objective You could make a rule to visit no than 2 stores when shopping for clothes or to consider no than 2 destinations when considering a vacation 2 Be a chooser not a picker choosers reflect on what makes a decision important whether even none of the options should be chosen or a new option created and the expressive value of a choice pickers are passive selectors from what is available shorten or eliminate fuss about unimportant decisions use freed up time to reflect on what you want think about what options would need to be created if so 3 Satisfice and maximize less 4 Think about the opportunity costs of opportunity costs a good investment for a satisficer may be one that returns than inflation Period 5 Make your decisions nonreversible I m simply not going there I ve made my decision so this option has nothing to do with me I m out of the market so end of story you can pour yo. Much of a good thing has proven detrimental to our psychological and emotional well being In accessible engaging and anecdotal prose Schwartz explains how a culture that thrives on the availability of constantly evolving options can also foster profound dissatisfaction and self blame in individuals which can lead to a paralysis in decision making and in some cases depression With the latest studies on how we make choices in our personal and professional lives Schwartz offers practical advice on how to focus on the right.curse of discernment poor teens talked about benefits of internet rich teens talked about drawbacks upward comparisons to others is