The other day, I came across an article on the PBS NewsHour website entitled “Is the famous paradox of choice a myth” by Barry Schwartz dated January 29, 2014. Evidently, there is much controversy whether too many choices create a paralysis.
In 2000, Sheena S. Iyengar (Columbia University) and Mark R. Lepper (Stanford University) published a study entitled “When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing” (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol, 79, No. 6, 995-1006 (2000)). They start with the premise that the more choices one has, the better-“that the human ability to manage, and the human desire for, choice is infinite.” (Id. at 995.). They then discuss two experiments they conducted in grocery stores. They set up displays of jam for a five hour period to see how ordinary shoppers would react in terms of tasting and purchasing. In one display, they set out 24 different exotic flavors of jam (leaving out the ones we all like such as strawberry and raspberry so that predispositions would not affect the results) while in another, they set out only 6 varieties.
What they found in both studies is that the consumers sampled about the same number of varieties of the jams- 1.50 but the “…consumers
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