Why More Is Less. In the spirit of Alvin Toffler's "Future Shock," Schwartz's work is a "brilliant" ("Christian Science Monitor) and "persuasive" ("Business Week") social critique of people's obsession with choice, and how it contributes to anxiety, dissatisfaction, and regret.
Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, selecting a long-distance carrier, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions -- from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs -- have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented. We assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of choice overload: it 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 Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains why too much of a good thing has proven detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. Synthesizing current research in the social sciences, he makes the counterintuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, he offers practical steps for how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on the important ones and ignore the rest, and, ultimately, derive greater satisfaction from the choices you do make.
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