The problem is that when we are faced with too many choices in modern markets, there is a cost of having choice overload. This can lead to bad decisions, anxiety, stress and dissatisfaction – even clinical depression.
What is the solution to this dilemma? Author Barry Schwartz claims the solution lies in relying upon the social structure that normally serve to temper consumption. He says that, “Social institutions could ease the burden on individuals by establishing constraints that, while open to transformation, could not be violated willy-nilly by each person as he chooses. With clearer ‘rules of the game’ for us to live by—constraint that specify how much of life each of us should devote to ourselves and what our obligations to family, friends, and community should be—much of the onus for making these decisions would be lifted.” (Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, New York: Harper Perennial, 2004, p. 112.)