The majority of people in developed societies face an abundance of choice, averaging 70 decisions per day (Cutrone, 2013). It is a common assumption today that the more choices we have -- the better because the human ability to manage and the human desire for choice is infinite. From modern marketing practices that provide customers with entire aisles devoted to jams or detergents, to important life decisions in which people contemplate alternative career options or multiple investment opportunities, this belief pervades our institutions, norms, and customs. However, the relationship between choice and well-being is not as obvious as the conventional wisdom would suggest (Schwartz, 2004). Research in behavioral economics and consumer psychology reveals that it is possible to present people with too many choices, creating an inverse relationship between options and decision due to choice overload.
Choice overload manifests itself in one of two ways:
1. “Analysis paralysis” wherein the consumer is overwhelmed with options resulting in the simplest decision, no choice.
2. Dissatisfaction with the choice, if made, regardless of the objectivity of the decision (Schwartz, 2004).
Research findings of Iyengar and Lepper (2000) indicated that too many choices result in a delay even when it goes against an individual’s best self-interest and when the choice is made, the choice is sub-optimal. Lastly, people who have more choices are more likely to choose things that make them less…