The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

American psychologist Barry Schwartz says that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers.

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

Why choice makes people miserable?

  • regret and anticipated regret
  • opportunity costs
  • escalation of expectation
  • self-blame

Sheena Iyengar: How to make choosing easier


  • 6 flavors of jam - 40% stopped - 30% bought a jar of jam
  • 24 flavors of jam - 60% stopped - 3% bought a jar of jam

Ways to reduce choice pressure:
1) cut (15 or 25 items to show in list, could be changed in options, it looks like it is good for user, but better for users to choose one and removing the option at all) (there are many options in cars, and sometime car sellers give few packs like basic optimal and full to reduce the choise pressure)
2) concretization (the more people understand, the easier to make a choice) (grid-list choice - good to add icons)
3) categorization
4) choose by default to help user to make a choice

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