“Absorbing, witty, and persuasive.”-BusinessWeek Top 10 Business Books of 2004
“Brilliant. . . . The case Schwartz makes for a correlation between our emotional state and what he calls the ‘tyranny of choice' is compelling, the implications disturbing. . . . An insightful book.”-Christian Science Monitor
“A revolutionary and beautifully reasoned book about the promiscuous amount of choice that renders the consumer helpless. A must-read.”-Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness
Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, ordering coffee, selecting a wireless carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions-both big and small-have become increasingly complex due to the over-whelming abundance of choice. For Americans, choice is the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination. But having too much choice can actually be detrimental: choice overload can make you question your decisions before you make them, set up unrealistically high expectations, and lead to self-blame for any failure. The result is decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress, and even clinical depression.
In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice-from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs-has led us to seek that which makes us feel worse. Synthesizing current research, Schwartz makes the counterintuitive case that reducing choices can greatly reduce stress, anxiety, and the frenzy of daily life, and offers eleven practical steps to help you limit choices to a manageable number, focus on the important ones, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.
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