Do we have too many ideas to choose form?

In the world today are there to many different choices that we can choose from. That is what it is said to believe in the article called we have too many ideas to choose from. I personally think that is true. There are a lot of choices that have to be made that can become very confusing they can make us frustrated and even depressed. Some examples are listening to campaign ads, or news stories it is just way too overwhelming with all of the information given. What do you think is there to many ideas to choose from today.


Vincent said...

I would rather have the luxury of too many choices in life rather than the burden of too few. If people are becoming to frustrated or depressed from these choices, for example let me use the elections, that person always has the choice to do nothing and not vote. But nonetheless this is an interesting topic, I have never really thought about the troubles choices can cause.

Marie said...

I would have to agree with Vincent. I would way rather have the choice of determining what I wanted to do in life, who I wanted to vote in to office, or what I wanted to do with my money. I guess we do have examples of people who have limited choices, and they live in Russia (kidding but true.) I personally am going through the same extreme condition. I feel absolutely trapped in my decision making. I don’t feel like I can get out of some of my situation, and so I find it hard to feel satisfied. My choices seem very limited in nature, and it is absolutely driving me crazy.

Dr. Tufte said...

Harry: you're an economist in the making. The top economics blog, Marginal Revolution, had a post about this not too long ago.

The profession is torn on this.

Traditionally, variety of choices is seen as a good thing - it helps people to buy the "most best" thing for their situation.

Of course, gathering information and analysing it to make decisions is hard, and that can be included in models as well.

Then there is the regret theory that comes to us from psychology - basically that regret about decisions we though were optimal but turn out not to be influence how we act.

Lastly, there is the observation that optimization in the face of changing information means we must update our decisions constantly. The fact that we don't means one of two things: 1) the costs of changes are so high that we stick with decisions that are no longer optimal (thus creating anxiety), or 2) we respond to information overload by following conventions that are OK, but rarely optimal (again leading to anxiety).