Customer Reviews for

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A reviewer

As someone constantly plauged with indecision, this book opened my eyes to what I'm doing and how it makes me unhappy. It was a relief to know that I'm not the only one who takes 30 minutes to decide between metal or wicker baskets to hold my DVDs in. It was also distur...
As someone constantly plauged with indecision, this book opened my eyes to what I'm doing and how it makes me unhappy. It was a relief to know that I'm not the only one who takes 30 minutes to decide between metal or wicker baskets to hold my DVDs in. It was also disturbing to see that my inability to decide will only lead me away from happiness. I had never thought in those terms before and this book made mre realize that I needed to make a change. This book is great for people who can't make a decision and wish they could!

posted by Anonymous on May 8, 2007

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Choice from the Psychology view

I was surprised to find a book about choice in the psychology section of the bookstore. As an avid reader in Economics, it was a unique experience to see how a pyschologist views utility and opportunity cost. The book moves the reader from the basics of satisfiers and m...
I was surprised to find a book about choice in the psychology section of the bookstore. As an avid reader in Economics, it was a unique experience to see how a pyschologist views utility and opportunity cost. The book moves the reader from the basics of satisfiers and maximizers thorough buyers regret. It is a good introduction to a complex topic. It was quite comical to see what the gold, silver and bronze medalists are thinking on the awards stand. Technically, the book is written at an 8th grade level, easy reading. Nonetheless, the book could use better editing where it drags at points. I give it a c+ because of editing problems.

posted by Anonymous on December 6, 2005

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    As someone constantly plauged with indecision, this book opened my eyes to what I'm doing and how it makes me unhappy. It was a relief to know that I'm not the only one who takes 30 minutes to decide between metal or wicker baskets to hold my DVDs in. It was also disturbing to see that my inability to decide will only lead me away from happiness. I had never thought in those terms before and this book made mre realize that I needed to make a change. This book is great for people who can't make a decision and wish they could!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2005

    Choice from the Psychology view

    I was surprised to find a book about choice in the psychology section of the bookstore. As an avid reader in Economics, it was a unique experience to see how a pyschologist views utility and opportunity cost. The book moves the reader from the basics of satisfiers and maximizers thorough buyers regret. It is a good introduction to a complex topic. It was quite comical to see what the gold, silver and bronze medalists are thinking on the awards stand. Technically, the book is written at an 8th grade level, easy reading. Nonetheless, the book could use better editing where it drags at points. I give it a c+ because of editing problems.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    A Good Read

    There's not a tremendous amount that's groundbreaking in terms of what we know about choice, but the book's information is well written and presented in a way that the layman can understand the psychology behind it.

    It's worth the read if you're interesting in why you make the decisions you do, and how you make them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    No paradox

    Basically it's the law of diminishing marginal utility applied to the consumption of alternatives. But choosing what matters to invest time in (by going through the alternatives) is a choice in itself. The new question is: is this worth thinking about? Not groundbreaking, but a helpful reminder.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Eye opening book on choice.

    On the advice of a friend, I picked this up, and am glad I did. The author does an excellent job of supporting his hypothesis that "less is more" and that an abundance of choice has made our lives harder instead of easier.

    I learned a lot from the book. I learned about maximizers versus satisficers, what drives us to make decisions, and tools for simplifying dealing with the abundance of choices we face.

    The writing style can be a bit wordy, and at times I found myself reading and re-reading sentences and paragraphs in order to fully understand the meaning. It's not overly complex, but some sections can be a reading workout. However, the author does support all his arguments in a logical style, and the extra effort required for me to understand some of the more involved points was worth the effort.

    Worth the read, and hard not to learn something from this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 4, 2010

    What Does "The Paradox of Choice" mean?

    Paradox of Choice is an intriguing book that explores the minds of the consumer. Barry Schwartz creates 3 main points; those who are called Maximizers, Satisficers, and giving consumers too many options lessens their satisfaction. Maximizers are people who, given a choice, will exhaustively search all the options, seeking all possible information, in order to make the best possible choice. This behavior generally consumes a lot of time, and often leads to nagging doubts, perhaps where no one clear winner emerged. Satisficers are those who settle for a choice that is "good enough" for them these people are generally happier with their choice, and spend less time choosing, leaving them free to enjoy other things. It is in my best opinion that someone should read this book because it effectively displays how the consumer should choose the choice that is "good enough". This increases the satisfaction of the consumer which in turn makes it easier. Although there wasn't much that I didn't like in this reading, the majority of the book put the blame on the producers. It made it very hard to accept the fact that producers where to blame when it was the consumer that needed the reality check. If the consumer could do this, then everyone would be able to enjoy their choice and spend less time stressing. Barry Schwartz aptly demonstrates that having too many things to choose from often leads to the consumer feeling bewildered when facing the choice and less satisfied even after taking a decision. He cites studies that indicate people are less likely to buy a product when faced with too many choices. One of the more important examples cited is that of 401k plans. The more fund choices offered by employers offering matching 401k plans, the fewer people actually selected any fund at all, even though that meant foregoing 'free' money. If you know exactly what you want - you know prior to searching precisely what characteristics you want - then more choices are likely to be better, because you are more likely to find something that most closely matches what you desire. It is, however, unlikely that most people search for products that way. Beyond choice paralysis caused by too many choices, an abundance of choice is also likely to produce worse decisions because people attempt to simplify the choice to a point where the simplification impedes their ability to make a good choice. His conclusions are that people should aim to be satisficers, rather than maximizers, and that by having standards to live by, rather, than, say, rigidly enforced rules from some higher authority, we can eliminate some choice in our lives that isn't really needed. Overall this book should receive 4.5 out of 5, but since Barnes and Noble cannot do that, I give it 5 out of 5.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 4, 2010

    The Paradox of Choice is a real eye-opener to what is happening in the US.

    The Paradox of Choice is about Martin Seligman, a man who has seen a problem in the US that no one else has addressed. He saw that the amount of increasing choices can be confusing and actually limit people rather than give them more freedom. In our fast paced society the number of choices are growing rapidly, what once used to be a regular whopper from burger king now can be created over 200 different ways. This is good because now we can get exactly what we want, but at what cost? we must put a huge amount of time into picking what we think is perfect for us.
    This book is really inspirational, it enlightens us to an increasing problem in the US that no one seems to realize. I like the way the book is written and recommend this to anyone who likes to buy things but cant decide what to buy until they have already bought something else. The amount of choices we have can seem good, but they can make us question our decisions before we even make them. These choices can lead us to blame ourselves for any and all failures. Weather we are choosing something small like what to have for lunch, or choosing something like a career we are faced with more choices than we think.
    Everyday we are faced with so many choices, and these choices are becoming more and more as time goes on. The amount of choices are time consuming and can be extremely stressful. As we think and rethink our choices we can make so many decisions that are not what we really wanted, this is a waist of our time and can possibly be the waist of our money. Choice is a very good thing to an extent, when we put more choices than are necessary we waist time and effort that we could be spending doing other things.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty good read about decision making

    This was an interesting book with a lot of good points to make about the way we make decisions, how the way we do that might be causing us more harm than good, and what we can do to make our decisions both better and faster. I enjoyed this book and recommend it, but I do have one concern. This book is 240 pages, which isn't long, but it is very repetitive. It reads like a research paper that's been expanded on too much. Much of the information repeats over the course of the book. Still, I give it 4 out of 5 stars, I enjoyed reading it, and I recommend it to everyone else.

    P.S.: I now realize that I'm a "maximizer," but I'm looking forward to beginning my journey towards becoming a "satisficer."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2004

    We are overloaded with choice

    By opening with a story of his trip to the store for jeans, Barry Schwartz writes a guide to America now, a country enslaved by choice. According to Schwartz the world we live in today has far to many choices and people are suffering because of it. When I started reading the book I must admit I thought his ideas were outdated, and some may still be, but after reading the entire book I can agree with much of what he says. Though I still might not think that less choice in some goods would be a good thing I do agree with his points on decisions that might need more education. Things like retirement plans and medical care programs that might or might not be the best plans for some are hurting people. This is an excellent book illustrating in four parts: when we make our decisions and examples of the over abundance of choices there are, how we choose what we feel is best and the flaws in our thought process, why it is that we suffer, and what we can do about it. Parts I found the most interesting included the section on 'anchoring' which is when we compare something we intend to buy to an 'anchored price,' or the price for the same product we saw elsewhere. Another was the tendency to 'adapt' to the things we buy, making the experiences we get from them seem less and less satisfying. A main point of the work is whether or not we are Maximizers or Satisficers. Schwartz says that more and more people are becoming Maximizers because of the more choices we have and that they suffer more because for a Maximzer only the best will do. I recommend this book for anyone old enough to go out and make their own shopping decisions. With scientific tests, relevant cartoons, and a new look on the freedoms we experience everyday this will make one evaluate their life. In the end you might find that you would sometimes wonder if less were more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Useful

    I wouldn't consider this a self help book but it really helped me understand my (previous) indecision and overall dissatisfaction. The main point is that people are often overwhelmed with the abundance of choice presented to them. More choices lead to indecision or remorse while fewer options lead to more confidence and satisfaction.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Great book

    Highly recommended

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

    Boring

    No useful information.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

    Great book

    I loved it.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2