The Paradox of Choice

  • by Barry Schwartz
  • Narrated by Ken Kliban
  • 7 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the spirit of Alvin Tofflers' Future Shock, a social critique of our obsession with choice, and how it contributes to anxiety, dissatisfaction and regret.
Whether were buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions - both big and small - have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented.
We assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression. In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice - the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish - becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice--from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs--has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Book Full of Insight

The boom has fantastic enlightening content that can be used in a variety of applications, from personal development to marketing strategies.
The narration however is awful - but bear with it - it's worth it!
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- M. Millward

Depth and systematic

The narrator was a little distracting, as he speaks in a pace that to me seems unnatural, however he was able to hold my attention and deliver information clearly which I eventually appreciated

The book is very applicable to our times, it will give you awareness of potential issues that everyone can relate to. The start of the book builds up the foundation of the topic where as the last third of the book gives you ways in which to combat the paradox of choice. I removed a star because the book will be affected by the time period research had taken place. It makes me feel the subject matter is dated. I found personal satisfaction applying the themes to our current times and found myself taking notes on the section about "counterfactual Thinking" which is something that affects me greatly.
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- Mattias J. Carson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-09-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios