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TED on Sunday: Barry Schwartz on the Paradox of Choice

May 17, 2009

In this wryly amusing talk, psychologist Barry Schwartz interrupts his morning jog to explain why more personal choice in almost every domain -- work, healthcare, entertainment, lifestyle decisions -- is making us less happy and more dissatisfied. It's a problem peculiar to affluent, industrialized societies, says Schwartz, but the consequences are global and increasingly destructive, psychologically as well as environmentally. So remember, when Mom or Dad tells you everything was better back when everything was worse, they just might be on to something. (Filmed: July 2005; Running time: 19:37)

Liked this talk? Then try one of these:

-- Mitch Nauffts

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  • "[W]hat struck me was the startled awareness that one day something, whatever it might be, was going to interrupt my leisurely progress. It sounds trite, yet I can only say that I realized for the first time that I don't have forever...."

    — Anatole Broyard, book critic/editor/essayist (1920-1990)

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