Essays on Analysis of Barry Schwartz's Book The Paradox of Choice Book Report/Review

Tags: Freedom
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

In general, the paper 'Analysis of Barry Schwartz's Book The Paradox of Choice" is an outstanding example of a business book review.   According to Barry Schwartz, in his book ‘ The Paradox of Choice” in which he says as the choices of products expand exponentially, dissatisfaction among customers will grow. According to the common notion, people expect that more choices would make people happier, but have not been the case in the present environment. Paradoxically, the more choices customers have the more difficult their life becomes. This is because greater choice customers have comes at a price, demands on customer’ s cognitive abilities, potentially more time, confusion and paralysis resulting from indecision (Diener, 2000).

In most countries today, customers live in a time and place in which autonomy and freedom are valued above all else. The choice is good among customers, and more choices are better. This paper argues that choice, and with its autonomy, freedom and self-determination, can become excessive and that when that happens, choices can be experienced as a kind of misery-inducing domination. Unconstrained freedom among customers leads to paralysis (Diener, Emmons, Larson, & Griffin, 1985). There is no denying that choice among customer improves the quality of their lives.

It enables them to control their destinies, and come close to getting exactly what customers want in any situation (Brenner, Rottenstreich, & Sood, 1999). Customer choices are essential to autonomy, which is important to the wellbeing of people. Healthy consumers need and want to direct their own lives. Whereas many needs are universal- shelter, food, medical care, education, and social support. Much of what customers need to live is highly individualized. Choices are what make customers pursue precisely those activities and objectives that best satisfy the customer preferences within the limit of the customer resources.

When choices do not exist, individual life will become unbearable, but when the number of choices increases, as it has in our consumer autonomy, culture, and liberation. There are some choices which consumers make have a positive impact on their lives, but it does not mean that more choices are better. As the number of choices increases, the individual face will grow, and negative aspects of having the option for and the individual will start to appear, the negatives soar until the choice no longer liberates, but debilitate (Schwartz, 1994). Due to modernity, it has created choices in two different ways.

First, in an individual life, there are many choices and the number of options available to people has increased dramatically. Secondly, in areas of an individual life in which there are little choices, choices have now appeared. For example, a typical American supermarket has more than 30,000 items. That many products for a customer to choose from and more than 20,000 new products are being displayed in America supermarkets shelves every year.

A few years ago, telephone service in America was a monopoly, and there were no choices to be made. Nowadays, customers have an option that has grown over time into a dizzying array. Another illustration is retirement pensions. Different pension plans exist in America today. What began as a choice among a few alternative investment instruments has turned into a choice among many organizations in America. For example, an insurance company having ten different pension options that can be combined in any way a company wanted.

Last year, the insurance company found these options were inadequate, so they developed other retirement plans that have 155 options. While, the option number 155 is that companies which does not like the other 154 can design their own pension plan (Cottle, 2002).


Angst, J. (1995). The epidemiology of depressive disorders.! European

Neuropsychopharmacology, 5 , 95-98.

Beck, A. T., & Beck, R. W. (1972). Screening depressed patients in a family practice: A rapid

technique. Postgraduate Medicine, 52, 81-85.

Brenner, L., Rottenstreich,, Y., & Sood, S. (1999). Comparison, grouping, and

preference. Psychological Science, 10, 225-229.

Clark, K. (1999). Why it pays to quit. U.S. News and World Report, November 1, 74-


Cross, G. (2000). An all-consuming century: Why commercialism won in modern

America. New York: Columbia University Press.

Cottle, M. (2002). Bodywork. The New Republic, March 25, 16-19.

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larson, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The Satisfaction With

Life Scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.

Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a

national index. American Psychologist,55, 34-43.

Diener, E., Diener, M., & Diener, C. (1995). Factors predicting the subjective wellbeing

of nations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 851-864.

Schwartz, B. (1994). The costs of living: How market freedom erodes the best things in life.

New York: W.W. Norton.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us