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Powell's Q&A | September 3, 2014

Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel



Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North... Continue »
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    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304

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The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

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The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions — both big and small — have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented.

As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.

In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice — the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish — becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice — from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs — has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.

By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.

Review:

"Despite a tendency toward highfalutin language...Schwartz has plenty of insightful things to say here about the perils of everyday life." Booklist

Review:

"[T]o the average lay reader, Schwartz's accessible style and helpful tone is likely to aid the quietly desperate." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[F]ascinating....The book is well researched and authoritative yet written in a style that makes it accessible." Library Journal

About the Author

Barry Schwartz is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College. He is the author of several books, including The Battle for Human Nature: Science, Morality and Modern Life and The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life. His articles have appeared in many of the leading journals in his field, including the American Psychologist. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060005689
Subtitle:
Why More Is Less
Author:
Schwartz, Barry
Author:
by Barry Schwartz
Publisher:
Ecco
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Social Psychology
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Decision Making & Problem Solving
Subject:
Decision-making
Subject:
Choice (psychology)
Subject:
Choice.
Subject:
Motivational & Inspirational
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Self-Help : General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
246-F
Publication Date:
20031222
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.84 in 13.68 oz

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Related Subjects

Business » Strategy
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Ecco - English 9780060005689 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Despite a tendency toward highfalutin language...Schwartz has plenty of insightful things to say here about the perils of everyday life."
"Review" by , "[T]o the average lay reader, Schwartz's accessible style and helpful tone is likely to aid the quietly desperate."
"Review" by , "[F]ascinating....The book is well researched and authoritative yet written in a style that makes it accessible."
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