BOSTON (CBS) – Do you tend to get overwhelmed when faced with too many choices? Scientists at Cal Tech help explain why your brain may have trouble making a decision if given too many options. It’s called the “choice overload” effect.
Have you ever been at a restaurant and there are so many items on the menu you just can’t decide what to order? Or you want to buy a blouse but there are just too many to choose from? Sometimes you just throw up your hands and walk out.
Scientists have found that the more choices the brain is presented with, the more effort it has to expend to evaluate them. At some point, the reward of making a choice just isn’t work the effort. But they say there is a sweet spot; the ideal number of options is somewhere between 8 and 15 depending on the situation and depending on the person.
And while we often think we want tons of choices, like at a grocery store, we may not realize how frustrating it can be to actually make a choice.