The Paradox of Choice – Why More is not Better ??

Important Disclaimer –
Anything I write is to share some interesting and worth sharing insights.
I have no intention to hurt / harass / defame / oppress any person/ sex / caste / religion.
If I do , forgive me as it was completely unintentional. 

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The Paradox of Choice

Why More is not Better ??

(The JAM Experiment)


We Love Choices .

Choices are Good .

More Options to Choose From , Happier We are .

And How Can We Forget Amazon Ads – Aur Dikhao —- Aur Dikhao



But What if I Tell You

” More Options is Not Good ”  .

Will You Believe me.

I tell you a personal story.

I was in Class 8E (Computer Section). And in our section we had 2 Girls [I Guess Computer was not that HOT Then]

What really surprised me was that both the Girls , were far more in sought after than girls in other sections.  This was really surprising for me then and a mystery to me till last week when I read about the JAM Experiment.


In 2000, psychologists Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper from Columbia and Stanford University published a study about jams.

On a regular day at a local food market, people would find a display table with 24 different kinds of jams. Then on another day, at that same food market, people were given only 6 different types of jam choices.


Now Guess

On Which Day There was a More Interest on the JAM Table ?? (Means More people went to the JAM Table0

On Which Day there was more sales of the JAM bottles ?? (Means more people bought the JAM 0


Well Here is the Result.

On the Day there were 24 Different JAM bottles showcased, significantly more people went to see the JAM tables.

On the Day there were only 6 Different JAM bottles , Significantly more people bought the JAM Bottle.


Why Does this happen??


This Happens because of what Psychologists call as “CHOICE Paralysis”


The above experiment was then repeated in different circumstances and with a lot many variations BUT still the results were same.

More Choice – More Interest

More Choices – Less Action


But Here is where THING GET Interesting.


What was more clear in all the experiments that when the number of choices were more , even when people who bought the JAM bottles , they were LESS SATISFIED and LESS HAPPY with their Purchase.



Yes people were more satisfied and happy with there choices when they had to choose between 6 JAM Bottles than they were when they had to choose between 24 JAM Bottles [Mind You the 6 Bottles Types were also there in 24 Bottle set]


Now this is What I call Interesting.

What this means that if the number of choices are more people will talk more about it , Take less action , and even when they take action they will be less happy and satisfied


How does this Effect you in REAL Life  ??

You Know what is the Most Common Question asked to me by students.

“Sir Which is the Best Book for XYZ Subject ??” or “From Which Book should we Study”

In my time [Way back in 2006], this was never the question.

There were Only 2 Books , Mudit Khanna & Amit Asish [Several Volumes] and Anyone who could complete it is sure to get into AIIMS.

But Now For Each Subject I guess there are more than 3-5 Choices .

Results – Even 1-2 Years into preparation , students will still ask this question from me.

So What Should You Do ??

Now you cannot stop Authors from publishing books. But If you realize this , You can decide on any one book and just focus all your time and attention on it [Even though you may keep feeling that it is not the best resource.]


Other Interesting Places where you can Observe the same thing.

It is easier to “Hook Up ” or find your life partner in a causal party than on Tinder or Bharat Matrimony.

(More Choices , More Interest but Less Action0


One advice which I regularly give students [who find it difficult to  revision] is to keep 15-20 pages which he plans to revise next morning by his bed and start revising as soon as he gets up the next morning.

Zero % Choice 

100 % Action 

500 % Happiness / Satisfaction.


Now To really use this remember , wherever you feel unhappy / unsatisfied , you reduce [or completely remove] the number of choice and then go with the Only choice.

Initially you may feel that you have not taken the “BEST” Decision but if you stick with your choice for some time , soon it will become the “BEST” Decision for you and you will be really happy and satisfied with you choice.


So Now Hope You understand the MYSTERY why those 2 Girls for SECTION 8E got all the Attention [and were asked out so often]

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Be Awesome
Stay Awesome
Dr Abhishek Gupta



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