- preference for many (rather than few) options when making a decision,
- larger likelyhood of dissatisfaction when choosing from a large set of options (rather than a small set).
In Barry Schwartz's Paradox of Choice, he argues that our desire to expand
our available alternatives is actually making us less satisfied with whatever we end
Schwartz sees two major strategies for making a choice:
- maximizer - tries to make best possible choice
- satisficer - tries to find first suitable choice
The difference is that a satisficer is operating with a specific set of criteria in mind. Once the criteria are met, the search is over. Meanwhile, the maximizer continues to search for the best deal and can never really be sure that there isn't a better deal out there. As a result, the maximizer suffers from the perception that any defect in his choice might have been overcome by some hypothetical other option.
It's almost as if for maximizers "it's not in the last place you look."
- Buyer's Remorse at Wikipedia for a related concept.