Over a decade ago, psychologist Barry Schwartz published what might be the ultimate psychological life-hacking tome, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. In it, Schwartz argues that the modern world’s smorgasbord of options—Brawny or Bounty? Coke Zero or Diet? Major in sociology or anthropology?—makes us less happy, not more. “Choice overload,” as he calls it, makes us question our decisions, set our expectations too high, and blame ourselves for our mistakes.
The book spawned the usual TED talks and counterintuitive Internet takes. More recently, Schwartz has been interviewed in a variety of publications and platforms about how his advice holds up 10 years later. The rise of social media, he argues, has only heightened the agony of decision-making through phenomena like FOMO (fear of missing out).
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