The paradox of choice

Psychologist Barry Schwartz challenges a key concept in Western society: freedom of choice. In Schwartz’s estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied. Do you agree with him?

11 thoughts on “The paradox of choice

  1. Hello. I think that freedom of choice gives us more freedom. It is obvious.
    The problem is when you don’t want to have a thing that allows you to do many things at the same time, the example of the future multi-task cell phones.
    It is a fact now. Mobile phones are full of features I don’t usually use, and neither many people do, because the main function of a phone is to make phone calls, and most people don’t use them any other way.
    So why would I want a phone with all those built-in characteristics?
    What if I want a phone that’s only able to make phone calls?
    I wouldn’t find it.
    He is right.
    What do you think?

  2. hey!
    well, I can agree with this man in some ways, but for sure not in all of them.
    listening to the example of the Doctor…it would be good, to have someone to advise you, even though, you are not being free in that sense. On the other hand, if he advises you in any way, and it goes wrong, he could be responsible for all that.
    Talking about all, it’s great to have to choose! even if you think that it would be better that someone else told you what to do, if you couldn’t think it by yourself, you would want to! and that’s because all the human beings whant whatever they don’t have.
    think about it.

  3. LOL

    I think that freedom of choice is an advantage, you just have to learn how to use it..of course it has some bad points, but live is never perfect and I preefer regreting of choosing the wrong way (and having the possibility of doing better next time) than having no possibilities, with only one choice live would be boring.. for example, if he hadn’t had all this decisions to do I wouldn’t be laughing now about his funny conclussions. n__n

  4. Hi!

    Well, I think Dr. Schwartz has only told us something that we already knew.

    When we have the possibility of making a decision but we have a lot of choices, we feel really worse than when we don´t have them. This is because of the confussion which implies and the thought that, maybe, we could have done a better decision.

    Come back to life style of some years ago, a less complicated society, is which would do us happier.

    Well, it´s my oppinion and, of course, I can be wrong. What do you think?


  5. God gave us the choice of choosing and, even though you get wrong, that´s the main difference between animals and human beings. We are the owners of our own life and we build our future with the pros and cons that every matter has in the ordinary life. You can take advance of your mistakes if you are intelligent. Sometimes, a step back means two steps forward.

  6. Hello everybody!
    As I see it it´s really nice to have the opportunity of choice however in some cases we don´t have all the freedom of choice we´d like to have,at least that´s what I think.
    For example in the case of what you should do with your live, it´s supposed that nobody tells you what to do but be realistic you probably will be jugged if you have a children or something like that and you aren´t married,or if you´re living with another man/women that is not the mother/father of your child.That´s ridiculous!!Every of us must be free to decide the way of life we want.
    I´m still quite young and I haven´t thought in marriage or having babies yet but most of old people(grandparents for example) find really strange that at the age of 20 we are´t married!!I don´t know wat it´s “right” and what´s not but I have one think absulutely clear we should do whatever we wanted in the case i´ve been triying to explain.

  7. Hi!
    Well, after beeing watched this curious video, I’m thinking about all the technologie that it’s in our lifes everyday. I’m sure that anybody who is listenig to this man, can not survive one week without his mobile phone, iPod, Pc or Tv…
    I couldn’t!
    All of those have more features that we need; for example: if we have a mobile which has a mp3, why we go to the next store that we have to buy the new iPhone or iPod? Yes, I have the answer that all of you’re thinking about: we need to spend money in things that can be a help or a distraccion for our complicated lifes!

    Are you tired of answering your mobile, your email, or working with a Pc? Do you miss the old way of life without those kind of technologie? Do you want to arrive at home and say: -” Home, sweet home” – without any press and stress?

    Do what I’ll try to do: swicht off all the electronic things that you have around you, and breath with a smile in your face…
    You’re free!!

  8. Good afternoon,

    Barry Schwartz started explaining that freedom is directly related with choice and these two things are very important in our society. But he says that choice doesn’t mean more freedom and makes us more dissatisfied. I disagree with him in those points.
    Firstly I think not having the possibility of choice makes our life worse, without freedom, because we can’t choise the best for us.
    Secondly I suppose that we would be more dissatisfied when we would have to do, have, etc… something obligued because we couldn’t choise.

    Like other things choice has some bad points, disadvantages, but It’s better for us having the possibility to chose always.

  9. Personally, I find more interesting Naomi Klein speech. It could be, because I´ve always wanted to know, how publishers can attrack our attention with billboards and commercials.

    For me, Barry Schwartz believes that he has the truht. Therefore, the main difference between Naomi and Barry , is that she explains her opinion, while Barry tries to convince us that he is right.

    This not means that I´m not agree with him, he has reason in part, but it´s curious that if he´s againts choice, why does he have six different computers behind him during the conference?

    He sould do what he claims.

  10. In my opinion, Barry Schwartz has a wrong opinion of the world. I mean, he says something like “the secret to a happiness is low expectations” but that’s not true. I think we have to follow our dreams and try to be better everyday.

    Nowadays we are very lucky because we can choose whatever we want, there are many options for us, so it’s fantastic!

    Also I agree with Beatriz when she says that he has about 6 computers during the conference. You have been a good observant!

    See you!

  11. I think that with freedom, our mind simply blocks. In this society, we aren’t used to be free, so we get overflown with the posibility of choice.

    I’m not psicologist (and I don’t want to be one), but it’s a fact that the human always want the things that don’t have at this moment. So, if you choose something, you’d want the thing that you didn’t choose.

    It’s certainly a paradox. It can be because our consumption society, or our basic instincts of humans. Or maybe the two reasons.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s