The tyranny of choice

Categories: ChoicePsychology

Steven Waldman wrote this essay with regards to the overwhelming number of choices that consumers faced each time they go make a simple purchase. The main purpose for writing this essay is to entertain and inform a simple situation we encounter every day. Waldman highlighted the stressful behaviors that people go through when making a right decision, which he illustrate using his personal experience as an example. After he portrayed his unfortunate day searching for socks in Sox Appeal, he observed his own situations with too many choices like dealing with insurance benefit plans, medical treatments and entertainment.

He stated that the more choices there are, the better chance of making a wrong choice. Waldman debated on the growing forms of religious denomination and news periodicals. He also distinguished the benefits of choices like company deregulation, increased social tolerance and improvement in products. In Waldman’s essay, he illustrated five negative points of choices.

In one point Waldman elaborated that “Choice Erode Commitment.

” This point describes how people tend to linger in making a commitment and wearing away their responsibility in their careers, social life and marriage. He supports his main idea by mentioning his own experience in marriage and examines important statistics about single females.

Waldman elaborated that “Choice Leads to Inept Consumption.” This describes that the more choices available, the more information the consumer must have in making an intelligent decision. If there are too many choices, the consumer will abandon making rational decisions like safety. Salespeople help urge the consumers in not making sensible selections which can be more frustrating.

Top Writers
Marrie pro writer
Verified expert
5 (204)
Allan Brooks
Verified expert
5 (893)
Dr. Karlyna PhD
Verified expert
4.7 (235)
hire verified writer

He concluded that his stressful search in Sox Appeal ended with getting the socks in the wrong size.

“Choices Cause Political Alienation,” is another negative point Waldman described. He observed that the way people voted for a candidate has changed over the years. With untrustworthy media, voters tend to look carefully on the candidate’s character and not have a tendency to look at their personal issues. People did not vote straight Democrat or Republican, but they vote according to recommendation, interests and popularity. Candidates abide now on people’s beliefs, than their own beliefs.

Waldman explained that “Choice Erodes the Self.” He believes that people purchase things to help them appreciate themselves. The problem is that the more choices there are the more possible way to define yourself. If a person has too many desires and is face with too many choices, they are likely to doubt his/her self. Waldman clarifies that people work hard to improve their appearance and still don’t feel better about themselves.

Waldman complains that “Choice Reduces Social Bonding.” He pointed out that people shares fewer common experiences and that our society is divided into social segments. As the result, people tend to be private to satisfy their needs. Waldman compared his past and present experiences to explain today’s human characteristics that are splitting apart.

Waldman concluded his essay by restating the stress in trying to deal with an abundance of choices. He comprehended the way people react offensively to “stereotypical yuppies,” which he has been guilty of. “Stereotypical Yuppies” are people that have a well-paid job are obsessed with the quality of products which they purchase. Waldman considers people that are making choices on the basis of quality are small people. They don’t appreciate the things that they can have. He also supported the media for urging us into choosing their products through delightful ads. He recounted when he had to decide what is to eat for dinner. When he saw the ad for “Burger King,” he rushed to the nearby restaurant and ordered a “Whooper.” He found it refreshing not to behave as a logical consumer and it did not matter to him.

It’s true that there are a lot of choices to make in general, but a single person is only faced with a fraction of those in his/her life.With so many choices, we have to select things according to how we feel and how it will affect us. It all depends on the personal lifestyle of a single person. The President makes more choices than the average household family member. Some really active people need a lot of choices to make, otherwise they may feel like they aren’t accomplishing anything, then again, a lot of choices may help a person build leadership skills. A person with a large ego may feel important if he/she has a lot of choices to make.

As time drawing near to the new millennium, have many choices can be thrilling. When I was a youngster, my parents made choices for me, but today having to face them on my own, give me some sense of control in my life.

Cite this page

The tyranny of choice. (2016, Jul 24). Retrieved from

Are You on a Short Deadline? Let a Professional Expert Help You
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7