Are Adventists Equally Dissatisfied as the General Public? The Role of Excessive Choice in Our Society.
Based partly on the work of Barry Schwartz The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (New York: HarperCollins Publ., 2004
You are always dissatisfied after you made a choice
• Acura • GMC • Lincoln • Porsche • Aston Martin • Honda • Lotus • Rolls Royce • Audi • HUMMER • Maserati • Saab • Bentley • Hyundai • Maybach • Saturn • BMW • Infiniti • Mazda • Scion • Buick • Isuzu • Mercedes-Benz • Smart • Cadillac • Jaguar • Mercury • Subaru • Chevrolet • Jeep • MINI • Suzuki • Chrysler • Kia • Mitsubishi • Toyota • Dodge • Lamborghini • Nissan • Volkswagen • Ferrari • Land Rover • Pontiac • Volvo • Ford • Lexus
Arabian Mocha Java Gaia Blend Holiday Blend Gold Coast Blend Kona Coffee Espresso Forte Fair Trade Blend Ethiopian Fancy Yukon Blend Java Dutch Estate House Blend French Roast Sierra Dorada Blend Top Blend Guatemala Christmas Rift Valley Blend French Roast Italian Roast Espresso Roast Senseo Douwe Black Satin Sumatra Guatemala Antigua Costa Rica Cascada House Blend Blend 101 Breakfast Blend Brazilian Santos Kenya Café Estima Blend New Guinea Guatemala Antigua A li House Blend Decaf Light Note Blend Aged Sumatra Gazebo Blend
Since Adam Smith, the Father of Laissez-faire Capitalism We have more or less believed that:
Choices improve the quality of life . They enables each person to determine the direction of their lives. Choice is absolutely necessary to wellbeing. Healthy people need to direct their own lives. Choice is what enables each person to pursue those things that satisfy their own preferences. When people have no choice, life is unbearable. Therefore, we think that as the number of choices increases, a person’s welfare increases. Barry Schwartz The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (New York: HarperCollins Publ., 2004
The fact that some choice is good doesn’t necessarily mean that more choice is better. There is a cost to having an large number of choices. Welfare decreases and people feel worse. well-being
<ul><li>Studies of well-being have </li></ul><ul><li>shown that increased choice, and increased affluence have been accompanied by decreased well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer people today judge themselves to be happier than past generations, and more people experience depression and attempt suicide. </li></ul>Barry Schwartz and Andrew Ward. Doing Better but Feeling Worse: The Paradox of Choice
According to studies of well-being one of the most important factor in providing happiness is close social relations. People who are married are happier than those who are not. In the context of this presentation on choice and autonomy, social ties actually decrease freedom, choice, and autonomy. Marriage curtails freedom of choice of sexual, and emotional partners. It appears, that what contributes most to happiness binds people, limits the choices rather than liberating them. Barry Schwartz. The Paradox of Choice
The more choices, the greater the potential to experience regret at having chosen sub-optimally
No Choice Limited Choice Extensive Choice 10 0.72 12 Regret and Purchasing Behavior Regret Number of Chocolates Purchased 2.8 47 1.54 Low regret High regret High regret
2. Many options diminish attractiveness of each The more options, the less attractive each of them will seem
Why did I not do more research? I should have taken more time. How dumb can you be!
2. We will be better off if we embraced certain voluntary constraints on our freedom of choice. Society (Religion) provide rules, standards for our well-being (fidelity, wear seatbelts, etc) so that we do not need to make decisions again and again. Freeing us for choices for which no rules exist.
3. We will be better off seeking what is “good enough”, not best Good gas mileage, dependable, long life
4. We will be better off if we used more often the “default position” One of our friends chooses only one type of cereal. He takes the “default position”
5. We will be better off if we lowered our expectations about the results of decisions . I don’t expect my Honda to have the Luxury of a Mercedes
6. We will be better off if the decisions we made were not reversible. “ Until death do us part”
7. We will be better off if we paid less attention to what others choose How do you know you have chosen the best, except through comparison? Thus one becomes the slave to the judgment of others.