The Paradox Of Choice Summary

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The Paradox Of Choice Summary by Mind Map: The Paradox Of Choice Summary

1. 1-Sentence-Summary:

1.1. The Paradox Of Choice shows you how today’s vast amount of choice makes you frustrated, less likely to choose, more likely to mess up, and less happy overall, before giving you concrete strategies and tips to ease the burden of decision-making.

2. Favorite quote from the author:

2.1. "The secret to happiness is low expectations." - Barry Schwartz

3. 3 lessons:

3.1. The more options you have, the harder it gets to decide, and to decide well.

3.1.1. You can’t argue that we don’t have enough choice nowadays. Between 1975 and 2008, the average number of products in a supermarket has risen from under 9,000 to over 47,000.

3.1.2. We always claim we want freedom, but Barry Schwartz suggest it might have gotten a little too much. For 2 reasons:

3.1.2.1. Having so much choice makes it extremely hard to choose at all.

3.1.2.2. Having so much choice makes it extremely likely you’ll make a mistake.

3.1.3. While researching a lot might just be a waste of time for buying shoes, for health insurance or retirement plans, it’s necessary.

3.1.4. Some of our choices have big consequences, and sadly the government doesn’t make these choices for us any more.

3.1.4.1. 50 years ago there was exactly one health insurance in the US, Blue Cross.

3.1.4.2. You got your electricity from one company, heat from another, and that’s it. The government pre-selected these for you.

3.1.4.3. But now, they don’t. The crushing burden of choosing the exact right one is now left to you, the individual.

3.1.5. Similarly, this study showed that when students have to choose from an array of snacks 3 weeks in advance, they’ll make wrong assumptions about the future, and therefore choose snacks they end up don’t liking.

3.2. The more options you have, the less happy you will be, no matter what you decide on.

3.2.1. The more you research on a product or service you need, the more you’ll come to the conclusion that:

3.2.1.1. It’s impossible to find the perfect option

3.2.1.2. You can never look at all options.

3.2.2. This is because as soon as you start comparing 2 products, you’ll probably notice one has benefits the other hasn’t and vice versa.

3.2.3. Instantly, you imagine a hypothetical product, which has both good qualities, but none of the bad ones. But this product doesn’t exist.

3.2.4. What adds to your stress is that just by looking at other options, you value the one you favor less.

3.2.5. A study by the University of Florida has shown that when consumers are told to put a dollar value on magazines, they’ll automatically value a magazine more, if they aren’t shown other magazines with it.

3.2.5.1. This is called opportunity cost, and just knowing you’ll have to miss out on other options will make you less happy.

3.2.6. And when you finally overcome that fact and make a decision, you’ll still wonder about all those other options, even the ones you never looked into.

3.2.7. You might even start blaming yourself, after all you should’ve found the perfect pair of running shoes, with so much choice to choose from

3.3. Good enough is the best – become a satisficer.

3.3.1. Trying to make the best choice will make you utterly miserable, due to the 2 points above.

3.3.2. Instead, try becoming what Schwartz calls a “satisficer“.

3.3.3. When you set out to buy new running shoes, come up with a list of criteria up front.

3.3.3.1. What qualities should your running shoes have? Which color? How much will you pay?

3.3.4. Once you have that, go out and start looking. Now you can put all potential choices in one of two buckets:

3.3.4.1. Fits your criteria.

3.3.4.2. Doesn’t fit your criteria.

3.3.5. The moment you find a pair that belongs into the first bucket, you buy it.

3.3.6. The only way to get rid of the terror of choice is to artificially limit it.

3.3.7. Limit your choice by setting some rules and you’ll be much happier for it.

4. What else can you learn from the blinks?

4.1. Why colleges are like shopping malls today

4.2. How your memories bias your decisions

4.3. What the opportunity cost of jam is

4.4. The reason why making purchasing decisions is often a waste of time altogether

4.5. When the paradox of choice leads to depression

4.6. What a maximizer is

4.7. Why the most important area to limit yourself in is your relationships

5. Who would I recommend The Paradox Of Choice summary to?

5.1. The 23 year old new runner, who spent a lot of time contemplating which running shoes to buy, in order to make the best choice, the 13 year old, who is about to go on her first shopping spree, and anyone who feels a little overwhelmed when shopping for groceries sometimes.