Tag Archives: The Art of Choosing

Sheena Iyengar – The Art of Choosing

Brown toast or white?

I was listening to the Today programme, and came across Sheena Iyengar talking about her work on Choice and the Jam Experiment and it struck a chord with my experiences, shopping, at work, at play, living, in general,   just about everywhere. Here’s a link to the interview:

Sheena Iyengar

If it doesn’t work you can find her on You Tube too.

You see, I like to say, “I hate choice”, it’s one of my lines, something I say a lot, but what I am very bad at managing, is, simply having too much apparent choice.

I don’t want unlimited choices, I want to choose between two, or maybe three, real possibilities – not have to wade my way through piles of irrelevant stuff to get to what I think I need. I drown in choices; the out-of-focus photos on my computer,  the shelves of products in the supermarket, the endless channels on the tv that no one ever wants to watch.  It’s exhausting, time consuming and ultimately soul-destroying.

But, it’s not the prevailing thought pattern of the West, to want less choice,  is it? Choice is good, right?  More choice, better choice, good for business, good for what exactly?  Freedom = Choice. Isn’t that how it goes?  Does it?

I am not so sure, both of those concepts are pretty slippery at the best of times  and I’m hoping that this book will help me clarify my woolly thoughts and the idea of someone carrying out experiments on jam buying habits is a great one!

And she sounds clever and interesting too.

So I’m going to read her book and maybe I will get a bit smarter in the process.