The Paradox of Choice, by Barry Schwartz; Harper Perennial, 304 pages

A specialty store ran a promotion in which they displayed several types of jam for customers to try. Anyone buying a jar got a coupon for a dollar off that purchase. The tasting promo ran twice, first with six varieties of jam, then with 24. The second time, traffic at the table increased. Both times, people sampled about the same number of selections. The difference came in the sales. Thirty percent of tasters in the first promo bought jam, but only 3 percent of tasters in the second promo did. In his book The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz contends that when people sampled the smaller selection and determined their preference, they did so with a sense that they "had sampled a range and knew which one they liked best." When the range quadrupled, the sampling process led to a sense that "there might be another jam that I haven't tried and I might like better, so I wo

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