Good Example Of Essay On The Art Of Choosing By Sheena Iyengar AND

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: People, Choice, America, Ted Talk, Transcript, Sugar, Life, Tea

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2023/02/22

The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz

The Art of Choosing
It was according to Iyengar (2010) her first day as a researcher in Japan when she ordered a green tea from a restaurant. According to her, she insisted on having a green tea served with sugar. However, after much discussion with the waiter and manager deliberating on the fact that the green tea is not served with sugar, the manager finally stated that they do not have any sugar. Much to her disappointment Iyengar (2010) surrendered and conceded to have coffee instead. To her surprise, the coffee was served with two packets of sugar. From there she starts her discussion about the differences in people’s idea of choice.
According to Iyengar (2010), much of our assumptions about the choices that we make are shaped according to our backgrounds. One, we assume that if a choice affects us, then we should be the one to make it. Judging from the experiment that she was able to form, Americans leave little room for individual fallibility and interdependence. It is required to treat choices as a self-defining and private act in the American culture. Second, Americans assume that with the more varieties they have, eventually they will make the right choice. According to Iyengar, since most of the American children are trained to spot the difference, these people have come to believe that everybody was born with different options. Because of such a practice, when a person cannot see the difference, the process of choosing becomes complex and thus it becomes frustrating. Instead of making better choices, we become overwhelmed and engrossed in a state of suffocation from senseless trivial choices. This fact opposes the very liberty that America imposes. From this point on, we are led to the last and final assumption that is the assumption that people must never say no to choice. According to Iyengar (2010), we all have a responsibility to open ourselves to a variety of choices that can teach us how and when to act. This way, people are brought closer to realizing the full capacity of choice. That is, although it does not always deliver its promises, choice inspires hope and achieves freedom.

The Paradox of Choice

People nowadays are faced with different and millions of choices. According to Schwartz (2006), gone were the days when people go to the doctor and ask them what to do. This time, when people go to the doctor, they give us a myriad of choices with different risks and benefits to go along with these choices. Therefore, it is like a shifting of the responsibility and the burden of decision-making. It is a shift in the accountability from someone who knows something to someone who does not know anything. For this matter, Schwartz moves on to discuss what was bad about choices. For Schwartz (2006), having many choices has two effects for people. First, is that these choices paradoxically paralyzes the person. It is such because, with so many choices to decide from, people start to find it very hard to choose at all. Second, is that even if people overcome the challenge of paralysis from choices, people still end up less satisfied with the results of their decisions. There are three reasons for such dissatisfaction. First is that with a lot of choices, choosing one would make us regret our choice for there is an imagined alternative. Second, there are opportunity costs that demonstrate the way we value things depends on what we compare them from; thus there are many alternative choices. Lastly, there is a growing degree of expectations. With all of the options given to people, expectations also went up. That’s why people back then had things better despite having worse because it was possible for people to have a delightful surprise during that time. Therefore, the secret of happiness has low expectations. After all, what enables all these choices is material affluence. These expensive and complex choices make people worse. That’s why Schwartz (2006) concludes that it’s better to impart these choices to those who have few. Because, with more choices those who have few will have their lives improved and we will also have improved lives. Income redistribution or the
Pareto-improving move will make everyone’s lives better.

References

Iyengar, S. (2010, July). Sheena Iyengar: The art of choosing | Talk Subtitles and Transcript | TED.com. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/sheena_iyengar_on_the_art_of_choosing/transcript?language=en
Schwartz, B. (2006, September). Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice | Talk Subtitles and Transcript | TED.com. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice/transcript?language=en

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