Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Paradox Of Choice

The more choice you have, the less enthusiastic you are about your choices. This statement nicely summarizes the consumer attitude many women in this culture have towards men in the dating scene.

This video by Barry Schwartz (posted below), describes in detail how people in general react when faced with too many choices. But you can easily extend this to the dating scene, where women are concerned.

The paradox works like this: This culture teaches men to pursue women, while teaching women to hold back. This lopsided dynamic enables women to experience excess choice, which results in the paradox of them being less satisfied about their choices, which in turn results in them choosing less, and when they do, with less fervor. This negative feedback causes the men to (mistakenly) try harder and pursue even more, which causes women to become even more dissatisfied, and more "picky". It's a self-reinforcing feedback, and not to mention a lose-lose scenario. The only solution is for men as a whole to drastically cut back on the pursuing which will result in the women appreciating their (fewer) choices more, which ironically means that men will have more success with women. But I'm pessimistic in this regard, as men will generally see any reduction in effort from the "competition" as a sign for them to jump in and fill the void. The result is that the pursuing will remain at a steady high level. That said, the only solution is to switch to a different geographic location where the culture is more balanced between the sexes, and your rank in females eyes isn't akin to a cereal aisle with 100 different choices.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO6XEQIsCoM