Aug. 17, 2020
Traditional economic theory says that more choice should always be better than less. After all, if the cereal aisle has corn flakes, honey nut corn flakes, toasted coconut corn flakes, chocolate corn flakes, multi-grain flakes, and all the rest, you’ll surely be able to find the breakfast carbs that suit your taste buds perfectly. But it turns out that, in certain situations, more choices can be counterproductive.
In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at how having too many options can sometimes produce anxiety, reduce satisfaction, and even lead us to abandon the decision we’d planned to make altogether.
You’ll hear from professional bridesmaid (yes, that’s a real thing) Jen Glantz about her experiences supporting brides through the many decisions they face in planning a wedding. Jen has seen it all: the fatigue, the indecision, the anxiety, and the emotional toll that can result from managing myriad choices while planning the big day.
Jen, herself, is now engaged to be married. But rather than subject herself to that giant list of wedding day choices, she has come up with a clever plan to offload the decision-making effort.
Jen Glantz runs Bridesmaid for Hire and is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Barry joins Katy to explain where choice overload occurs, and where it doesn’t, and to discuss the benefits of satisficing when it comes to choosing televisions or restaurants or blue jeans.
Barry Schwartz is the Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor Emeritus of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College.
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