June 11th, 2008


Score one for the Swattie *

Just finished reading "The Paradox of Choice" by Barry Schwartz.  It tries to bring in a lot of the recent research on happiness and also on how people make decisions to show the pretty solid reasons why more choice has the potential to make a lot of people less happy.   In general I really liked it, although occasionally the descriptions of 'things we all feel' was so far from my own experience that it made me question some of his other observations.

I think in terms of his descriptions of our responses to choice and decision-making, I'm mostly a 'satisficer' rather than a 'maximizer' -- I've often noticed I'm very good at finding 'good enough' and pretty much never have buyer's regrets.    If you are troubled by past choices very often, give this book a read (despite the opportunity costs of taking the time to read it ;-).

* Schwartz is a professor at Swarthmore College