The paradox of choice: Barry Schwartz about the traps of diversity

Have you ever heard of the paradox of choice? This term was coined by Barry Schwartz. By the way, he not only invented this term, but also wrote a book on this topic.

So, the essence of this paradox is that if a person is offered the only option for a service or product, he will have only one choice: to buy or not to buy.

But as soon as a person is offered two options for a product, his brain already rejects the option “not to buy at all” – this option simply self-destructs.

However, there is one more interesting feature. If a person is offered too many options to choose from, the brain will get tired of choosing between them and will give the simplest solution – “no” to all options.

Large company marketers are aware of this paradox. For example, flagship manufacturers always offer – at least – two versions of their product: a budget model of a gadget and an expensive one. Some of them make the “average”. After all, this is an intermediate option and not everyone chooses between the most expensive and the cheapest.

According to this paradox, cars are produced in different configurations (in this case, most often, no more than three options), training courses (options with self-study and with feedback).

From all of the above, marketers should remember that you can’t offer too many options, but there should always be at least two.