How often have you been in a situation wherein you had to choose one option among too many?
Lets go to a hand bag showroom and try to pick a bag. The purpose of a hand-bag is quite simple which come in various shapes, colors, sizes, prices, brands, and types.
When you get into the showroom you literally see thousands of bags out there. You are confused because you are not able to pick one as all are good and there are too many options to choose from. You somehow manage to pick one and get out but at the back of your mind you are still thinking what if you had bought the other one which too was pretty cool and trendy. I have friends who would go back to the shop and exchange their newly bought bad with the other bag they liked or they may buy both because its hard to pick one among the two. But there is a catch to this situation, a lot of people would pick nothing because its so hard to make a choice. They are so confused that they don’t buy anything at all. This is called the paradox of choice.
To put it simply, the paradox of choice states that the more choices one is given when making a decision, the less happy they tend to be about the decision they make (even if the selection is objectively better). This paradox has been a major driver of consumer decision making for many centuries and also an interesting research topic.
This paradox has not just effected consumer products but also human relations. Men and women who are a little more good looking than the average often have more relationship problems than others due to the paradox of choice.
The so called “hottest girl” in the room is hit by so many guys on an average that she is always in a state of confusion about whom she should select as her life partner. She would go for the best guy in the room but if all are equally good and smart then it becomes much more difficult for her to make a happy choice. Even if she picks one, she would still wonder what if she had chosen the other one. The same goes for guys too who are not able to pick their “best”.
How to fight this paradox?
As a seller, provide as less options as possible. If you do provide many then keep very less “the best” as possible so the the consumers can decide easily. As a buyer , just be satisfied with whatever “the best” you chose because if you had chosen the other one, you would have still had the same feeling because It’s your basic human nature and you can’t fight it.