The Paradox of Choice

Why More Is Less, Revised Edition

Author: Barry Schwartz

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780061748998

Category: Psychology

Page: 304

View: 4470

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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.
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Practical Wisdom

The Right Way to Do the Right Thing

Author: Barry Schwartz,Kenneth Sharpe

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101475188

Category: Self-Help

Page: 336

View: 5026

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A reasoned yet urgent call to embrace and protect the essential, practical human quality that has been drummed out of our lives: wisdom. It's in our nature to want to succeed. It's also human nature to want to do right. But we've lost how to balance the two. How do we get it back? Practical Wisdom can help. "Practical wisdom" is the essential human quality that combines the fruits of our individual experiences with our empathy and intellect-an aim that Aristotle identified millennia ago. It's learning "the right way to do the right thing in a particular circumstance, with a particular person, at a particular time." But we have forgotten how to do this. In Practical Wisdom, Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe illuminate how to get back in touch with our wisdom: how to identify it, cultivate it, and enact it, and how to make ourselves healthier, wealthier, and wiser.
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Why We Work

Author: Barry Schwartz

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476784868

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 112

View: 6372

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An eye-opening, groundbreaking tour of the purpose of work in our lives, showing how work operates in our culture and how you can find your own path to happiness in the workplace. Why do we work? The question seems so simple. But Professor Barry Schwartz proves that the answer is surprising, complex, and urgent. We’ve long been taught that the reason we work is primarily for a paycheck. In fact, we’ve shaped much of the infrastructure of our society to accommodate this belief. Then why are so many people dissatisfied with their work, despite healthy compensation? And why do so many people find immense fulfillment and satisfaction through “menial” jobs? Schwartz explores why so many believe that the goal for working should be to earn money, how we arrived to believe that paying workers more leads to better work, and why this has made our society confused, unhappy, and has established a dangerously misguided system. Through fascinating studies and compelling anecdotes, this book dispels this myth. Schwartz takes us through hospitals and hair salons, auto plants and boardrooms, showing workers in all walks of life, showcasing the trends and patterns that lead to happiness in the workplace. Ultimately, Schwartz proves that the root of what drives us to do good work can rarely be incentivized, and that the cause of bad work is often an attempt to do just that. How did we get to this tangled place? How do we change the way we work? With great insight and wisdom, Schwartz shows us how to take our first steps toward understanding, and empowering us all to find great work.
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Brand Valued

How socially valued brands hold the key to a sustainable future and business success

Author: Guy Champniss,Fernando Rodes Vila

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1119977991

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 314

View: 2067

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New techniques to refresh and recharge your brands How do you establish and maintain a strong long-term relationship between your brand and your consumers? Successful brand managers know that it is all about trust and keeping the consumers engaged. The success of recent "green" campaigns as a means of connecting with, satisfying, and attracting new consumers is just the tip of the iceberg. As the international playing field continues to be leveled, in order to sustain and expand their success, brand owners must interact with their customers more than ever before, forging new and stronger links, and increasing their stock of social capital. At last, there is a book that addresses the growing significance of social capital in the business world. Brand Valued explores how as the strength, depth, and quality of interactions between a brand and its customers improve, increased opportunities to demonstrate trustworthiness arise. This in turn creates a self-fulfilling cycle, wherein trust begets social capital, which begets more trust—and even shared thinking—not to mention better sales. Brand Valued will receive the full support of Havas, the fifth largest global communication and marketing services group in the world. In easy to understand terms, and using concrete examples, Brand Valued provides: The tools necessary to stimulate dialogue—and new ways of thinking—between a brand and its intended audience Methods for extending brand messaging to wider audiences Ideas on how to make brands the engines of social capital, getting rid of unsustainable practices to foster more sustainable patterns of consumer behaviour Suggestions for the development of a new brand strategy that reduces costs through innovative and lasting solutions to problems Unpublished data on the role of consumer trust in new products based on research carried out by the Havas Group across over 150 brands in nine different markets A wiki component to the book in an accompanying website. Designed to forge stronger channels of dialogue and communication with customers and consumers, the book is a must-read for anyone committed to keeping their brand relevant in the twenty-first century.
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The Investor's Paradox

The Power of Simplicity in a World of Overwhelming Choice

Author: Brian Portnoy

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1137401265

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 6262

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Investors are in a jam. A troubled global economy, unpredictable markets, and a bewildering number of investment choices create a dangerous landscape for individual and institutional investors alike. To meet this challenge, most of us rely on a portfolio of fund managers to take risk on our behalves. Here, investment expert Brian Portnoy delivers a powerful framework for choosing the right ones – and avoiding the losers. Portnoy reveals that the right answers are found by confronting our own subconscious biases and behavioral quirks. A paradox we all face is the natural desire for more choice in our lives, yet the more we have, the less satisfied we become – whether we're at the grocery store, choosing doctors, or flipping through hundreds of TV channels. So, too, with investing, where there are literally tens of thousands of funds from which to choose. Hence "the investor's paradox": We crave abundant investment choices to conquer volatile markets, yet with greater flexibility, the more overwhelmed and less empowered we become. Leveraging the fresh insights of behavioral economics, Portnoy demystifies the opaque world of elite hedge funds, addresses the limits of mass market mutual funds, and discards the false dichotomy between "traditional" and "alternative" investments. He also explores why hedge funds have recently become such a controversial and disruptive force. Turns out it's not the splashy headlines – spectacular trades, newly minted billionaires, aggressive tactics – but something much more fundamental. The stratospheric rise to prominence and availability of alternative strategies represents a further explosion in the size and complexity of the choice set in a market already saturated with products. It constitutes something we all both crave and detest. The Investor's Paradox lights a path toward simplicity in a world of dangerous markets and overwhelming choice. Written in accessible, jargon-free language, with a healthy skepticism of today's money management industry, it offers not only practical tools for investment success but also a message of empowerment for investors drowning in possibility.
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The Psychology and Economics of Happiness

Love, life and positive living

Author: Lok Sang Ho

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134577311

Category: Psychology

Page: 152

View: 6179

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Much attention has been given to the economics of everyday life, which typically applies economic principles to the analysis of the different choices that people face under different situations. Yet there are hardly any books on the economics of life—an economics that takes the finite lifespan as the starting point and that looks at how one can maximize the subjective value from life given the constraint of the limited lifespan. In this volume, Lok Sang Ho suggests that the lack of progress in happiness among developed countries despite significant economic growth is due to a deficit of "mental goods", rather than a lack of material goods. The author stresses the role of culture and mental habits in determining the efficacy of gaining mental goods which includes love, a sense of security and autonomy, contentment, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and freedom from anxiety. Drawing on empirical research, the book explores how to invest, work, and consume from a whole life perspective, arguing that every action - consumption, investment, or work - should enhance the total quality of life. This overriding concern about life itself is known as love. The Psychology and Economics of Happiness uses the analytical framework of economists on a subject studied by positive psychologists, drawing both from empirical evidence and from psychological literature. It will be of interest to researchers and academics interested in economic and positive psychology, as well as those from related fields keen to learn more about living fuller, happier lives.
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The Best Interface Is No Interface

The simple path to brilliant technology

Author: Golden Krishna

Publisher: New Riders

ISBN: 0133890422

Category: Computers

Page: 256

View: 4347

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Our love affair with the digital interface is out of control. We’ve embraced it in the boardroom, the bedroom, and the bathroom. Screens have taken over our lives. Most people spend over eight hours a day staring at a screen, and some “technological innovators” are hoping to grab even more of your eyeball time. You have screens in your pocket, in your car, on your appliances, and maybe even on your face. Average smartphone users check their phones 150 times a day, responding to the addictive buzz of Facebook or emails or Twitter. Are you sick? There’s an app for that! Need to pray? There’s an app for that! Dead? Well, there’s an app for that, too! And most apps are intentionally addictive distractions that end up taking our attention away from things like family, friends, sleep, and oncoming traffic. There’s a better way. In this book, innovator Golden Krishna challenges our world of nagging, screen-based bondage, and shows how we can build a technologically advanced world without digital interfaces. In his insightful, raw, and often hilarious criticism, Golden reveals fascinating ways to think beyond screens using three principles that lead to more meaningful innovation. Whether you’re working in technology, or just wary of a gadget-filled future, you’ll be enlighted and entertained while discovering that the best interface is no interface.
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Doing Good Things Better

Author: Brian Martin

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 1471001075

Category: Self-Help

Page: 250

View: 410

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This is a book for how to improve what you are already doing well. How to improve your writings as an academic, playing skills as a musician, jogging as a runner or honour codes as a good citizen and friend.
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Consumed: Rethinking Business in the Era of Mindful Spending

Author: Andrew Benett,Ann O'Reilly

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 9780230110526

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 6046

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As the effects of the global recession linger, consumers everywhere are changing their purchasing patterns, paying greater attention to what and why they are buying, and from whom. While many feel rampant spending is hard-wired into the modern psyche and that we will be back to our wasteful ways soon enough, there are clear indications of a permanent shift in the way we shop. Even before the economic downturn, consumers' definitions of value had begun to change. People were becoming more mindful about their purchases and more attuned to the social and environmental implications of their choices. To better understand this important evolution and its ramifications for business, Andrew Benett and Anne O'Reilly launched a groundbreaking study on the New Consumer and the escalating dissatisfaction over hyperconsumerism. Here, for the first time, is an in-depth look at the new face of the global consumer, showing that: • A significant majority in the seven markets surveyed are deeply worried about the direction in which our consumption-obsessed society is moving. They believe people have become both physically and mentally lazy, and that, as a society, we have lost sight of what truly matters. • Two-thirds believe they would be better off if they lived more simply, and a quarter say they would be happier if they owned fewer things. • Half of Americans surveyed are deriving a sense of satisfaction from reducing their purchases during the downturn, and three-quarters are feeling good about cutting back on the amount of waste they create. • A majority of Americans have no intention of going back to their old shopping patterns, even when the economy rebounds. Now, as the consumer voice signals its changed priorities, forward-thinking companies are responding by rejecting excess and artificiality in favor of products and communications that offer authenticity, substance, and interconnectedness—all values today's more mindful consumer craves. In this book, the brand experts look at corporations as diverse as Glenmorangie and Wal-Mart to see what lessons they can offer to businesses attempting to grow in the postconsumerism era. They also spoke with corporate leaders in a variety of industries to learn how they are recasting their businesses and brands in order to prepare for the changes ahead. Through cutting-edge research and a sharp look at new industry models, Consumed provides real direction for marketers and managers.
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