King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

Eco 200: too many choices?

(group) A survey by a New York advertising agency found that many consumers consumers thought there were too many different brands available for sale in several product categories. For example, 72 percent of the consumers surveyed thought there were too many brands of dry cereals, and 60 percent thought there were too many brands of bar soap. How many is too many from your point of view if you know exactly what you want? How man is too few if you can't find what you're looking for?

If I know exactly what I want, the concept of "too many" doesn't exist. The only trouble for me is finding it among the other ones. That's a low cost, since I know what it is I seek.

If I don't know what I want, too many is when the number of variables I need to consider becomes greater than my ability to process the information. It's not the number of choices, but the multi-variate nature of the choices. Is a triple shot grande soy latte with caramel sauce better than a tall decaf Americano? I have no objective way of knowing other than trying them (and the 3 billion other combinations I can get at Starbucks). However, it's relatively easy for me to determine at a truck stop whether I want the coffee or water.


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