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The Tyranny of Choice - Barry Schwartz - Essay Example

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Barry Schwartz discusses his thoughts on this topic in short essay The Tyranny of Choice; too much choice is destroying the comfort of living in the default mode. From hundreds of cereal flavors to hundreds of TV channels…
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The Tyranny of Choice - Barry Schwartz
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Download file to see previous pages rilliantly in his essay by first mentioning everyday choices so a clear picture is formed in the readers’ minds and then he channels the focus to his real purpose of critiquing too many choices in the education system.
Schwartz begins with common examples to elaborate his point for two main reasons. First, he wants to establish familiarity among readers. They should be able to relate what Schwartz has to say. Everyone eats or knows cereal flavors and watches cable TV channels, not everyone is in college though. Second, he wants to point out that the explosion of choice is not only limited to the field of education. Be it food, fashion, entertainment or travelling, everyone has too many choices in every niche. It is not just the common examples that make the essay more agreeable, it is the common logic presented in it beautifully that makes it worth a read. Schwartz never says that choice itself is bad. A little choice is very healthy and almost essential for a healthy society. The way society has progressed showed that people were getting happier when they had two TV channels instead of one. Similarly one flavor of ice-cream will certainly bore anyone if fed every day. So the simple logic would be more choice makes people happier. But studies show (as mentioned in the essay) that people are happier when they had ‘some’ choice. David Myres, Robert E. Lance and Gregg Easterbook have conducted a study that shows a happiness decline of 5% (compared to 1974) among people despite bombarding them with so many choices (Schwartz 835-36). Another study suggests that people are less likely to purchase when they can choose from 30 flavors of jams compared to choosing from a total of six flavors (Schwartz 836). The approach of essay is also necessary to asnwers the ‘why’ behind the declining happiness. Without giving examples from everyday life early on this clarity of presentation would not have been possible. The hypothesis of Schwartz’s own investigation into ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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