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Our brains don’t like having too many options to pick

时间:2018-10-09 作者:admin

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Having too many choices to pick from can, ironically, make it impossible for us to decide. New research is looking into the neurological origins of this effect, known as choice overload.

Image credits Arek Socha.

We all like to have options to pick from. Be it in the grocery food aisles, at the department store when looking for jeans, or at the pub, we enjoy browsing for that perfect item. The reality on the ground doesn’t seem to match our expectations, however. Past research has shown that, when faced with too large a number of similar options, our brain struggles to make a decision.

Too much of a good thing

A previous study conducted in California (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000, PRID) pitted customers at a grocery store against a table of jam samples — with quite interesting results. The team offered samples of either 6 or 24 kinds of jam at a time. While shoppers were much more likely to stop and try the jams when more varieties were made available, they were way less likely to actually purchase a jam. In contrast, when only six samples were put on display, shoppers were less likely to stop at the table — but 10 times more likely to purchase a jam than the first group.

We don’t really know why this happens. We know it can cause some real problems by impacting our decision-AAAAAA ability in important areas — what retirement fund to invest in, for example, or what college to attend. In a bid to better understand the mechanisms that underpin choice overload, researchers at Caltech looked at the human brain as it was struggling to make a choice.

本文源自: AG环亚娱乐