Back in the ‘90s, Iyengar noticed something odd about her local luxury grocery store. Though the shop was “renowned for its huge selection of produce, packaged foods, and wine,” Iyengar “often walked out empty-handed, unable to settle on just one bottle of mustard or olive oil when she had hundreds of options.” The experience fueled Iyengar’s research into the psychology of choice. What she discovered were “neurological limits on humans’ ability to process information” that meant “the task of having to choose is often experienced as suffering, not pleasure.” Iyengar concluded that “the explosion of choice has made it more difficult overall for people to identify what they want and how to get it.”

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