People often think more means more. The more information we have, the more options to choose from, the better the final outcome and the happier we’ll be. Often, however, the opposite is true: the more choices we have, the higher our expectations become – and the more we worry about making the ‘wrong’ decision. Enter the ‘Paradox of Choice’.
A classic experiment by Sheena Iyengar demonstrates this neatly:
Supermarket shoppers were presented with a variety of jam samples to try.
On day one, 6 different jams were available for tasting.
On day two, 24 different jams were available for tasting.
Any guesses on which day resulted in more sales?
With fewer options, 40% of the shoppers tried the jams and 30% made a purchase.
With more options, 60% tried the jams, but just 3% made a purchase!
The conclusion: “choice is alluring but confusing”.
What does this mean? Keep things simple, limit options and keep testing.
More = difficult.