My stepson Matt lent me this book because I have been known to say that when people have to much to choose from they cannot choose. If I am doing a logo or layout for someone more often than not I give the client 3 to choose from. The more you give them the less they are able to choose, the worse the process gets and the less satisfied the client is in the end. (If my first 3 don't please then the client needs to tell me what they want to see more of. That eliminates the 'I'll know it when I see it' process that I REALLY hate.)
This book talks about choice and how we break down into 2 groups, those who research forever and may make better decisions but are less satisfied in the end. Or the person who researches less but chooses from what choices they have. They may not end up with the best choice but are the most satisfied. I fall in this second category, John is in the first. He is researching new big TVs. The process is interesting now that I have read this book.
Who woulda thunk it? Here we are, in the early years of the twenty-first century, being driven bonkers by the staggering array of consumer goods from which we must choose. Choosing something as (seemingly) simple as shampoo can force us to wade through dozens, even hundreds, of brands. We are, the author suggests, overwhelmed by choice, and that's not such a good thing. Schwartz tells us that constantly being asked to make choices, even about the simplest things, forces us to "invest time, energy, and no small amount of self-doubt, and dread." There comes a point, he contends, at which choice becomes debilitating rather than liberating. Did I make the right choice? Can I ever make the right choice? It would be easy to write off this book as merely an extended riff on that well-worn phrase "too much of a good thing," but that would be a mistake. Despite a tendency toward highfalutin language ("the counterfactuals we construct can be tilted upward"), Schwartz has plenty of insightful things to say here about the perils of everyday life. David Pitt Copyright Â© American Library Association. All rights reserved