“If you can have everything in 57 varieties, making decisions becomes hard work”
These standing out words at the very outset of the article say it all about how intriguing yet a minute fact of modern life this article addresses, and from what angle. Starting with the crispy crispmaker example, the author explores the mechanism of psychological, economic, business, and social aspects, forces and tendencies in action, in defining how growing options distort practical human expectation, resulting in a never ending internal and external crisis that is demanding a rigorous fight back today.
The article is finely divided into four major thematic sections. The first section depicts, through factual data and reference, the evolution of an enormous mass of unnecessary and confusing variety of every single commodity and service in market. It develops through addressing more general facts like marketplace scenario to extremely personal decisions like marriage, motherhood, love and even death rate; and shows how factors like technological advancement and social changes give rise to impractical senses of need and expectations, landing on unfathomed crisis in case of decision making on the long run.
The second section starts as he puts forth the “lurking” question “: is so much extra choice unambiguously a good thing?” While he dwells on the findings of the Behaviorist scientists’ grocery shop finding to illustrate how the seemingly lucrative huge galore of options deliberate rather than liberate the smooth decision making process by confusing individuals, he perfects this point by justifying the possible reasons of the reverse findings by German scientists. He goes as far as to explore consumer risk and panic from an economist’s perspective, and a final sense of guilt and inadequacy from a psychologist’s one. The concept of purposeless “picking” on the run than “making choice” by present generation not only strengthens the central claim but also opens prospect for fruitful research.
The very intriguing third section sheds light on the ingenious market mechanism which capitalizes over the consumers’ overwhelming crisis of trust of quality and reliability of products; a fogged milieu manipulating which brands emerge and conquer all of the rest of the market business on the long run. To make the readers identify with his point vibrantly, Calvino’s literary extract on the root of consumer aversion to choice functions like a compassionate touch of magic.
The fourth and final sections gives hope mentioning how business is waking to recognize the perils of such excessive choice; and settling on consumer assisting strategies as Tropicana applied. It also explains how narrowing down on complexity of choice contributed to cutting down on effort by consumes and thus added to the final revenue (Glen Williams reference). Impact of Green Movement and Voluntary Simplicity Movement and the like, would lighten ultimate crises like “maybe baby” dilemma through the help of professionals like life coaches.