The paradox of choice | Barry Schwartz Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents' 6 months ago   20:23

TED Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes -- including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on, at

Comments 3662 Comments

Shane Gaffey
Illinois Department of Transportation...Toe the Fucking Line..

Because, as you can surely See..



Let it Be Written
Vahik Stepanian
Another deeply stupid talk provided by ted
Doug Christianson
is anybody watching this in 2019
Jake Fournier
I'm still trying to choose which career field to enter. Age 44.
M. Madao
Funny story, I actually used having high expectations in my favor. I was about to get a surgery and I kept asking around and I heard there will be pain after the surgery which makes sense, but in my mind I kept thinking and expected really high pain, pain that would make me regret doing the surgery. After the surgery I felt really good about myself having high expectations because I felt barely anything and it made me recover faster.

I do wish I could get used and stop having high expectations about good things sometimes.
Tony Andrews
Did he just advocate for slavery?
Tom Atkinson
Actually, I think it's now possible to buy an ancient old new genuine Nokia 5510 made in Germany. It's US $249 plus shipping though, but thanks to something magic happening at eBay I can see a pre-owned one with a knackered battery for just $49!
Ashanti Cameron
if we are smart enough to create/cultivate all these choices and possibilities, then we are also capable of overcoming the bad habits of comparing and wishing we lived in the past where we had less decisions.
Priyanka Bansal
We don't choose when our loved ones are going to die I don't think anything else matters
Vahan Good
Imagine if you had only two choices...
Listening to this guy or Bernie Sanders. 😂

As someone who experienced hardships related to severe limitations (I grew up just after fall of the Soviet Union), I can tell you that I'm Happy with having choices - even if I can't make an immediate decision. I say this guy is misguided; I say it's GREAT that we are living in an era of expansion of opportunities.
Savonyé Dubay Bear
OF COURSE the jew knows what the future would look like.... I WONDER WHY??
Iain Mckenna
did he choose to wear that t-shirt?
Ok YouTube.... I'll watch the 12 year old ted talk..
Brett Cimerman
He is correct about some things, but believing that to much freedom is bad for the world is insanely dangerous and belief of this principle enmass can have horrific consequences. It also perpetuates fear.
Vicious Fate
I often get asked why I keep chosing the same stuff on menus for years even though there are so many other options I've never tried and so many seasonally limited offers - But I just feel like "If I like what I'm always going with, why should I bother making a different choice that I might not even like - I'm happy the way it is"
Love All
Choice=To know the Journey and Outcome and everything inbetween.

Gamble/Guess/Risk=Life and Religions.

Wrong! There is no interest in maximizing well- being.
Rogue Buddha
It's called "Fear of missing out". I am happy I didn't miss this one.
tamás gardi
today this is rediculios
Winona Daphne
oh my god i just remembered that this video was uploaded in 2007, but 5:13 where he talks about people choosing their own gender identity is more relevant today than ever
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Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents' The paradox of choice | Barry Schwartz 6 months ago   18:41

In 1900, only 3% of Americans practiced professions that were deemed "cognitively demanding." Today, 35% of us do, and we have all learned to be flexible in the way that we think about problems. In this fascinating and fast-paced spin through the cognitive history of the 20th century, moral philosopher James Flynn makes the case that changes in the way we think have had surprising (and not always positive) consequences.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at

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