The paradox of choice | Barry Schwartz

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Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz’s estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes — including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on TED.com, at

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36 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with his views about the problem…but…one thing is clear that I have to live in this world of choices…So, I want to hear what is the best strategy to cope up with this?

  2. Wow this whole theory applied on social media is awfully accurate. You come to experience amazing stuff but bcz you see life through the filtered eyes of thousands of ppl on social media you are disappointed. Just take the example of travelling. We all have an image of travelling like vlog videos reflect it but when you live it it's not the same and it leaves most of the time a bitter taste. The last part hits hard and this whole video is amazing ! Learn to be grateful when you have a few choices because whether you have many or little you still have a choice !

  3. "If you shatter the fishbowl so that everything is possible, you don't have freedom you have paralysis" – Dad

  4. We don't give people choices because we think they'll make the right ones; we give people choices and freedom because we respect their agency. We even respect people's agency to make bad choices. We do this because we think that free action is more important than correct action.

    In other words, we value freedom for freedom's sake, not for the values it confers to society. It is not pragmatic; it is fundamental.

  5. Quality over Quantity, I don't want much more of what I don't have in better stead I so much appreciate what I do have When things evolve I will include the practical and essential more importantly refinement of the self in my own evolution.

  6. Hello there, i know a dependable service to raise your views naturally for thousend it's 1.60 so the service is called => RazorViews

  7. I would like to comment on your doctor. He has a silver face! He doesnt know what to do and if he guessed wrong. Cause there is way more guess work in true genius then you as a ranting drifter will ever aparently see. Im sorry but if he tells u what to do. Both awnsers could be wrong. And then he is liable for. Instead ask for mire information 💁. About what you have for he speaks your language does he not. Your just a drifter if you cannot. Drifters are left without a driver cause you let go of the wheel. Drifting is the rival.. That you really actually feeel. So grab the wheel. Its never been my job. To tell you were your going but only show you the way. So you are your own boss i cannot lead you. What that doctor did do. Was tell you what roads are your already head! Be your own driver cause your hole life is ahead ( echoed lifes ahead)

  8. I liked this presentation, a lot of it I can agree with. Too much choice really does not make life better. I think that the conclusions near the end, that we really need a fishbowl is not accurate. No matter how nice the fishbowl is made it is still potentially limiting.

    If you were to eliminate the actual fishbowl over a body of water then issue of security is resolved. The real need is that we need to change how we value things, kind of like moving that fishbowl over a body of water.

  9. This is probably the best TED talk I've ever had to pleasure of listening to, and I've heard hundreds. This completely changes the way I view choice now.

    In summary, lower your expectations.

  10. Opens your mind about your choices in life. Don't over think. We only live once, don't waste too much time thinking about the same things every minute of your day. Sometimes its okay to settle with things and just be alive in the moment. This is coming from a person who over thinks every single day…. its a struggle but this video helped open my perspective!

  11. the American right wing scum who claim socialism is harmful because it restricts freedom haven't learnt the deep point this man is making .
    why ? because they have little to no wisdom .

  12. This lecturer is all over the place. We do not have more freedoms and some of these are more important. We may have certain greater conveniences but other things are down. Governments, the wealthy etcetera have more freedoms, but I as an average citizen do not.

  13. I disagree that choices are the problem – but if you don't know what you want, any choice is a problem. People don't have goals and they don't think about what they want. If you know exactly what you want and need, even this example with the 6.5 Mio. combinations for an audio system is narrowed down to a few that fits your needs. At least for me (and in practice) that leads to only one or two real options, other constrains like budget or availability do the rest, if I am lucky I get what I want (other times, nothing left, because I can't use it / doesn't fit my requirements).
    And I strongly disagree that others should do choices for me. However, good talk and some good ideas from Mr. Schwartz.

  14. Sorry about knee thing I way may have been jealous and as woman from 70s it was was too much , I remember what they said about me to shut me up, bad luck babies I'm still alive and I have 2 son's, sure you know what I taught them.

  15. In Washington, DC and other cities there are numerous intersections where you are never allowed to choose a moment where it would be safe enough to make a right turn on a red light. Even if you are the only human being around for miles and miles. You have to be a world level leader with police protection. You and your 4 college degrees. You wait until the green light. Fix that.

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