Are Consumers Happier When They Have More Options to Choose from?

Studies suggest that having more options to choose from actually makes consumers less happy. Having too many choices leads to a psychological phenomenon called "overchoice" or "choice overload," which leaves people less likely to buy and also more likely to be unhappy with any purchases they do make.

More facts about choices:

  • Even though people tend to choose products with extra features — even if they don't need them or won't use them — they also are more likely to be unhappy with those purchases.

  • People tend to be happier when they get advice on choices they make, even if the choice is very subjective, such as choosing a movie to watch, or even when the choice is irrelevant.

  • Consumers also tend to be happiest with products that have large differences from other products. The smaller the difference is, the less sure the consumer is that he or she made the right choice.

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