- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - US; Illustrated edition (18 March 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060005696
- ISBN-13: 978-0060005696
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 227 g
- Customer Reviews: 382 customer ratings
The Paradox Of Choice: Why More Is Less Paperback – Illustrated, 18 March 2005
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Brilliant.... The case Schwartz makes... is compelling, the implications disturbing.... An insightful book. --Christian Science Monitor"
Schwartz has plenty of insightful things to say about the perils of everyday life. --Booklist"
Schwartz lays out a convincing argument.... [He] is a crisp, engaging writer with an excellent sense of pace. --Austin American-Statesman"
Schwartz offers helpful suggestions of how we can manage our world of overwhelming choices. --St. Petersburg Times"
With its clever analysis, buttressed by sage New Yorker cartoons, The Paradox of Choice is persuasive. --BusinessWeek"
Wonderfully readable. --Washington Post"
"An insightful study that winningly argues its subtitle."--Philadelphia Inquirer
"Brilliant.... The case Schwartz makes... is compelling, the implications disturbing.... An insightful book."--Christian Science Monitor
"Schwartz has plenty of insightful things to say about the perils of everyday life."--Booklist
From the Back Cover
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.
InThe 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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Top international reviews
His research says that people differ along a continuum between 'maximizers' and 'satisficers.' Maximizers tend to spend much more mental effort in making the absolute correct choices, and especially for them the abundance of choice can be debilitating. This part was interesting, and it gave me some insight into why I'm not so affected by the abundance of choice, and why others are. I'm a 'satisficer'; I don't stress much over any little choice. I don't worry much if my choices are absolutely perfect. Sometimes good is good enough.
But ultimately, the rest is somewhat forgettable. Not horrible, just not incredibly interesting either. The book is OK, not amazing. For people who constantly worry about every little thing they do, this book could be recommended, because it does give some tips on how to deal with that. But that's not me.
The book is written from the point of view of a person who is very concerned and disturbed by what's going on with information flood that we as a consumers face. Still, there are serious implications for business, so it seems legitimate to view the book as an inspiring piece for marketing and advertising professionals as well. It will remind them, or should I say remind us, we do not work in vacuum, and what we do influences life of people and societies, sometimes in a very negative way. So while far away from simplistic, demagogic diagnosis blaming modern economy and especially marketing for all the evils of the world, it is calling for a serious reflection. That's my view. And it is surely biased as I guess the word "marketing" does not appear even once in the book. Never the less, please read it marketers and it will make you look at your job from a different angle.