Google+ Consumer Psyche: The problem with choice


Friday, September 10, 2010

The problem with choice

Ever found a kid staring at the many flavors of ice creams trying to pick up one? Ever wondered why he takes so long to make up his mind? I guess the problem is that you have a choice. Do kids alone do this? Or are we prone to this too? Let me explain.

Walking through Bangalore Central trying to pick up few dresses for a friend who is carrying, we found it really difficult to select one dress. Walking past long aisles of dresses neatly arranged in different colors, sizes and prices, we found none that matched our need and expectation. This purchase was a specially long one as it wasn't for my friend. The fact that there could be a better choice and the constant doubt that if you have already made one and later realize that it could've been better is what makes you think twice before you made that decision. you don't want to pick the wrong dress. You want to get the choice right. You don't want to regret the decision later as you know that you could have chosen better. The satisfaction you get out of making the right choice is always lesser when you have a lot of choice to choose from. The choice at central was too overwhelming and none matched our expectations. May be there was one but we could wheel it from our hook.

At Total today, we managed to pick up several things that we wanted including the kurtas. There were very few brands that we could choose from. The fabric was good, price was a bit high but we didn't have much choice. So we just picked up. Coming back we actually found it worth for my money and time. One of the reasons for picking up the kurta at Total is that the choice was lesser and the thinking process we had to spend was smaller too. The other reason, or the obvious reason is that the offering was better but I would rate my first reason higher.

Next time try this. When you go to an ice cream shop with a kid, ask him which flavor he could like. Look at the time he takes to decide and the number of times he changes his decision. Once he finalizes the order, you pick something he hasn't and see if he would trade it with yours. Most probably he would.

Try this too... Offer the kid just two choices, Vanilla or Chocolate. See how fast the choice is.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

If a person given the opportunity to make a mistake and to revert back to the initial step, without consequences... then he or she would do it. So, it's ultimately the consequences behind the choices that's under continuous evaluation.