Book Review : The paradox of choice

The paradox of choice (47)

by Barry Schwartz

If you live in a modern western country (like the UK) there is an assumption that extensive choice is a positive thing.

After all in free democratic societies the fact that I’ve got the freedom to vote for tens of politics parties can choose hundreds of places to eat, drink, socialise and visit as well as having a choice of millions of products and often hundreds of variations of said products has to contribute rather than detract from our lives.

However in this book Barry Schwartz argues that choice is often a debilitating force as opposed to a positive one and too much choice can often lead to depression and feelings of loneliness.

The arguments contained within the book are framed with decent amounts of evidence on the impact of choice by leading psychologists.

However as well as talking about the impact of too much choice there are also practical insights into how we all might improve how we make choices and the systems we can put in place in our own lives in order to manage choice more effectively.

I really enjoyed this book and whilst many of the findings contained in the book are a duplication of what you might read in other prominent social psychology reads it’s still framed in an interesting way.

There’s also plenty of practical take aways you can use to improve and simplify your choice making today.

I’d recommend The Paradox of choice…but with so many books to choose from will you select it as your next read?

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