Autonomy and Freedom of choice are critical to our well-being, and a choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically.— quoted from Ch.5, The Paradox of Choice, 2004
Choices are good. We love it when we have a lot of things that we can choose from. However, the relationship between multiple choices and satisfaction is much more complicated than we think.
Admit it, if we can have it our way, we want to have it all. But in reality, we can’t. Such is life. Though I think that is a good thing. It makes us realize that certain things are more valuable than others.
Having too many alternatives can diminish our level of satisfaction.
More choices mean higher expectations. Higher expectations can lead to self-blame if the choice you took didn’t match your expectations which could lead to frustration, anxiety, depression and the fear that your next decision will turn into another mistake.
What if I chose the wrong thing … again?
Having more options let us achieve better objective outcomes … most of the time. Having 100 styles of clothing increase the likelihood of people finding a style that fits their needs.
Marketers want to churn out an abundance of choices in order to enhance the value of their products or services. Store owners want to provide a good variety of products in order to make sure that their potential clients can find what they are looking for in their stores.
Funny how this research shows that an excess of choices usually leads to less, not more.
The truth is we are less satisfied after we made a decision. Because if there are too many choices to choose from, we are most likely left with the feeling that we could have chosen better. Then we slowly start to doubt our own decisions … for everything, because we have that nagging feeling that we might be able to do better.
With the information floating around on the internet today, we have the capacity to research on any given product endlessly. But that doesn’t mean that it will improve our choices in any way shape or form. It doesn’t mean that we should really do a thorough research prior to making any kind of decision either. The answer is not online on the internet. The answer is already within you.
The choice is yours to make. The best way is to consider the pros and cons in regard to what you need.
If you need a new phone, make a list of functions and capability you want then use that as a skeleton list to compare which one would fit you best in terms of answering your objective needs within the price range that you are looking for.
Do you need to do a background check before you decide whether you’re going to ask a girl out of a date? Just a thought.
Ever been drowned in choices? Please share in the comment section below.