Are We Happier When We Have More Options?

More From This Episode

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Misconceptions.

About Barry Schwartz's TEDTalk

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.

About Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a professor at Swarthmore College. He studies the link between economics and psychology. In his 2004 book The Paradox of Choice, Schwartz wonders why is it that societies of great abundance — where individuals are offered more freedom and choice are now witnessing a near-epidemic of depression. Conventional wisdom says that greater choice is for the greater good, but Schwartz argues the opposite: He makes a compelling case that the abundance of choice in today's western world is actually making us miserable.

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