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Jul 9, 2007

Option Paralysis

title The Paradox of Choice
description "Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central belief of western societies: that freedom of choice leads to personal happiness. In Schwartz's estimation, all that choice is making us miserable. We set unreasonably high expectations, question our choices before we even make them, and blame our failures entirely on ourselves. His relatable examples, from consumer products (jeans, TVs, salad dressings) to lifestyle choices (where to live, what job to take, whom and when to marry), underscore this central point: Too many choices undermine happiness."
producer TED Talks
featuring Barry Schwartz
format Flash embed
date **/07/05
length 00:19:48



At 10:00, Blogger said...

I haven't read Schwartz's book yet, but really enjoyed this clip. One thing he danced around (and I hope he covers it in the book) is the role of the individual's relationship to choice in general. Any number of options will present a challenge to a person if that person is not conscious of where all choice takes place--the present. The more "lost" a person is in the past or future, the greater negative effect things like regret, opportunity cost, expectations, and self-blame will have on them. The secret to happiness is low expectations (or no expectations, if that were possibly) precisely because expectations take us out of the present, where happiness lives. Like I said, I hope Schwartz takes this topic deeper because it's an important conversation, not just about how many options we have in our lives, but how we relate to our ability to choose among those options.


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