In the consumer culture we live in today, individuals, especially Americans, are faced with more options than ever before. These choices pervade every aspect of our life. From the car we drive, to the toilet paper we use, choices are everywhere. Often, too many choices can cause us to become demotivated and experience choice overload. In some cases, we may even experience paralysis. This is counter intuitive, as it is logical to assume that more choices equates to more freedom, which in turn leads to greater happiness. Research, however, has shown the opposite to be true, as there is an inverted-U relationship between choice and happiness. When we have more options, we have more to lose. Every time we make a choice, we lose the alternative options. These are called opportunity costs.
In the video clip below, Barry Swartz discusses "the paradox of choicce":