This influx of choice may make consumers worse off, at least not better off, he argued, for some reasons:
- It needs more efforts to make one small decision ("tyranny of small decision"). Which cereal has less calories? Which insurance company offers higher benefit?
- More choice means the probability of getting the "right" choice declines. Especially for the "maximizer" type of consumer.
- The psychological consequence of choosing the "wrong" option can be severe. The thing is we like to compare, even if what we got is actually good enough. We hate when people who shops in the other store gets the same stuff with a discounted price. We hate when realizing that we can get cheaper airline ticket had we waited for another week. (People who couldn't get to Harvard, Princeton or Yale while their classmates could should not be too pissed off when reading this...)
[Aco once raised this issue and provided a fourth answer -- that was after a "quarrel" with his wife...]
The book is in line with Prof. Kahnemann's work that brought him a Nobel Prize several years ago. The big question is whether our famous assumption regarding individual rationality is still valid.
I'd say, after reading the book, we won't need to revise that assumption. Especially for teaching purposes. I want to elaborate my reasons. But unfortunately, I have too many options to do now. And deciding which one I'm going to do may take a few minutes.... Oh well, maybe I'll just surf this website. Or this? Or this?