The Paradox of Choice

Look, there are many reasons not to give your customer what they ask for.

But the Paradox of choice is a big one. Here’s what it is:

The Paradox of choice is when we want more options, but getting those options actually makes it harder to pick.

Ever been to an ice cream shop with millions of options and had no idea what you want? Thank you paradox of choice.

What about scrolling through the bottomless pit of Netflix? Yup, the paradox is messing with you there too.

It’s pretty obvious when you think about it. If you can either pick black or white, you’ll pick one. If you have 50+ shades of grey, you’ll need a while.

If you’re struggling with a decision, take options away

If you are stuck with a paradox of choice situation, eliminate options.

Let’s use our ice cream example shop example. You could start by asking if you want sorbet or ice cream. That could eliminate 50% of your choices. Next, eliminate or keep fruit-based (or chocolate-based) ice creams.

Soon you’ll be left with only a couple of options.

You can use this approach for many complicated choices.

Instead of trying to pick between a list of options, use questions to eliminate your options down to a single choice. It might feel like it will take longer, but it’s a lot easier and less stressful than picking.

Give it a try.