Jack Uldrich
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Unlearning Choice

Posted in Algorithms, Culture, General, Jump the Curve, Marketing, Science, Software, Web 2.0

It is easy to believe that having more choices will lead to a greater level of happiness. However, as this new study suggests, people may be more satisfied when selecting from a smaller set of options.

There are a couple of reasons for this somewhat counter-intuitive finding, but the most poignant seems to be that when people select from a wider array of choices they often experience a greater sense of regret (after their selection) because they aren’t as confident that they made the optimal choice.

Trying to convince people that having fewer choices is a good idea will be difficult endeavor, but smart companies may be able to enhance their customers feeling of satisfaction by presenting information in new and innovative methods. For instance, think of on-line dating companies. Instead of presenting customers with an ever widening array of potential partners, they might instead employ sophisticated algorithms to narrow the list of prospective mates from which a person selects their choice.

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