After finishing the post on The Art of Choosing, I felt the need to comment on all three books including The Paradox of Choice and The Myth of Choice. (Nudge might have been placed in this group, but I decided against it.) Reaction to these books surprises me with its emphasis on consumer choices, but the book publishers probably wanted it that way. I understand that even Rush Limbaugh was talking about Barry Schwartz. Barry Schwartz seems to be portrayed as a curmudgeon who is trying at the same time to eliminate our consumer choices. With the subtitle of Why More is Less, How the Culture of Abundance Robs Us of Satisfaction maybe I can understand it. Schwartz’s book was published in 2004 while the Art of Choosing was published in 2010, and the Myth of Choice in 2011. Frankly, the last two books seem easy to write with the Schwartz book as a template. According to Amazon ranking, Schwartz might be the only one making any direct money from his book.
Sheena Iyengar has written the Art of Choosing. It is a slightly different slant on the “choosing” books. These books are different, but they all tell us that the world gives us what turn out to be not genuine choices, and a discussion of how our own brains can do strange things with choices. They also are about personal choice and not really judgment. (I need to learn much more to understand that distinction. I may be making it up.) This goes also for the Myth of Choice and the Paradox of Choice.