The paradox of choice

[24-07-2022 11:36 AM]

BY Renad Ayyad Dhayyat

If you’re like most people, you probably want the option that’s going to be the best overall choice, sometimes you find yourself hesitant and undecided, trying to figure out which job offer suits you best, or what should you invest in, even if it isn’t the best at any specific thing. Paradoxically, though, having too many choices can actually limit your ability to make good decisions and may leave you feeling less satisfied with your "chosen" choice.

It is undeniable that we live in a world full of choices, with so many options made available to us regardless of our closeness to them. The common sense would suggest that we would be happier and more satisfied with having the variety of choices. However, many scholars argued that having too many choices can actually lead to anxiety and dissatisfaction; This is known as the paradox of choice.

Jean Buridan, a 14th century philosopher, proposed the theory on "Rejecting Choices" which stipulates that when presented with two equally desirable options, people would be unable to make a decision because they would be paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong choice and the fear of missing out, this theory has come to light be known as the paradox of choice.

In "The Paradox of Choice" book, the psychologist Barry Schwartz explores the idea that the more choices we have, the less satisfied we are with our decisions. He cites studies which show that when faced with too many options, people are more likely to make sub-optimal choices, or to suffer from analysis "paralysis" eventually refraining from making any choice at all.

In conclusion, the paradox of choice is a very real phenomenon that can have negative consequences, because sometimes it's now or never. When we are faced with too many options, we can become paralyzed by indecision and unable to make a decision at all. This can eventually lead to regret, frustration, and even anxiety. The next time you're feeling overwhelmed by choices, remember the story of Jean Buridan and take a step back. You may just find that less is more.

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