Wednesday, October 14, 2009

╠ The Paradox of choice ╣

Normally in Uni I'm faced with the same boring stuff every day, however one of my classes is a little different. There is no textbook. Therefore the learning isn't restricted, the content can alter and variate. This is valuable because if there's anything that can be said for reality, things don't stay the same for long.

Today in this class an interesting theory came up, 'The Paradox of Choice'. This theory refers to the choices we have when we go out to purchase something. I'll try to keep it simple. First of all it can be inferred that for every purchase you make, your happiness with that purchase is gauged by the performance of the product, relative to your expectations. By this method it is possible to be dissatisfied with a good product if you had ridiculously high expectations. So what's the secret to happiness? Low expectations!

Now this is where choice factors in. If you have one choice of a product your expectations won't be too high because it's not customized at all, it's basically all that's there and if you want a product in that category, you have to have that one. Now if you had two options things are a little different. You can weigh up the choices and pick the one that suits you a little better. But this comes at a cost, since you're no longer just stuck with what's there and you have a choice, your expectations are raised. This increases with every additional product choice. The more options there are, the more likely you are to find a product that suits all of your requirements better and therefore the better you feel the product has to be to reinforce that you made the right choice.

Thinking on this further I found it to apply to me a lot. Especially with technology there are so many options. Therefore the one you pick has to do everything you want and more for it to actually exceed your expectations and make you happy with your purchase.

So theoretically the best purchase you will ever make is when you walk into a store and the only thing left on the shelf is one sole product that satisfies your needs, however was there anything else you would still pick this one.

This also interestingly ties into my work where we're now told to take a brief reach into our customers mind and then stick to and try and focus on one sole product.

For any of you quite interested in this please do give the video below a look, it is quite interesting and the speaker himself is also a bit witty and humourous to boot. The point I'm referring to here is mainly referenced at around 10 mins in.

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