How much choice is “good enough”?

Moderators of information and choice overload

Authored by: Raffaella Misuraca , Elena Reutskaja , Barbara Fasolo , Sheena Iyengar

Routledge Handbook of Bounded Rationality

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138999381
eBook ISBN: 9781315658353
Adobe ISBN:


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Previous research has shown that neither too much nor too little choice is optimal. Choice sets of an intermediate size offer more positive cognitive and emotional consequences to the decision maker than small and large choice sets. However, the ideal number of choices depends on many factors. This chapter describes the main factors that moderate the effect of choice overload and so determine how much choice is enough. Consistent with Herbert A. Simon’s analogy of a pair of scissors to describe his conception of bounded rationality, where one blade represents the individual cognitive characteristics of the decision maker and the other the structures of the environment, this chapter presents these factors, regrouping them into two main categories: contextual and individual variables.

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