Sunday, August 14, 2011

We Want Fewer Choices to Make Decisions




You think you want more options to be able to freely make a decision. Wrong. It just leaves us with more confusion and then we are less inclined to take a decision altogether.

We think we want more information more options when in fact we really don’t.

I am sure any of you have been to a huge grocery store. Maybe you just wanted to buy a chocolate, a clean detergent or even toilet paper. I bet you remember how it felt when there were so many good choices and you only wanted to buy just one thing. So, your action would have been either to pick up something completely at random, pick up something you are familiar with,  buy much more things than you needed or leave and forget all about it.

A popular jam experiment by Sheena Iyenagar showed that the more choices you have, the more off you will be to dismissing the whole decision.

The experiment was to set two show tables. One that had 6 choices of fruit jam for people to try from while the other had 24 choices. So, what happened?

More people stopped (60%) to taste from the more diverse (24 choices) table than those (40%) that stopped to taste from less diverse (6 choices) table.

It sounds like we like more choices. Don’t we?

But guess what? Only 3% made purchases from those stopped to taste at the more diverse (24 choices) table where as 31% purchased from the less diverse (6 choices) table.


If this experiment tells us anything, it tells us that we like to have more information. We like to know more and have more options but when it comes to taking the action to actually making a decision we prefer fewer options.

Image Credits to:  Ambro

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3 comments:

Gilany said...

it might be just because the people who stopped at the table with fewer options are the people who are determined to buy jam in the first place

if you are just wondering, it is more likely to check the table with more choices cause it goes with the try out theme

but if you are determined to buy jam, I think you would go to the table with less choices and more of the familier

Sherwette Mansour said...

I agree but sometimes (few times) we want to try something totally new so we would go to the one with more choices ;)

Mohannad Rabie said...

a lot of people think it is more safe to take decision or take action with less choices. to limit risks... iam just saying

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