Thursday, April 18, 2013

Choice Fatigue

I am planning on taking a week's supply of diapers, wipes, favorite safe snacks, etc. with me to the States for this very reason:

"In a famous study with jam two booths were set up. One had 24 options for free samples and the other had 6. After sampling the jam people were taking to the selection where they could buy a bottle if they choose. More people were drawn to the bigger sample size but less ended up buying. Over-information gets an audience but the act of making a decision between too many choices is daunting. The result is often indecision and lack of action [Iyengar study]." (source)

I have named the paralysis that comes with walking into a U.S. store "choice fatigue" which can lead to ineffective or crisis-inducing shopping trips. My coping strategies are:

1) Start small - go to the store just to buy a pair of sneakers.
2) Me vs. the store - make a list before I go. If I buy only what is on my list, I win. If I cave in and buy more, they win.
3) Have some fun money to just buy whatever once in awhile.
4) Read every label. With so many allergies, we can't eat most things anyway.
5) One treat per person to avoid, as the Berenstein Bears call it, the "galloping greedy gimmies."
6) Review my cart before checking out. Remove those sneaky nonessential items (sorry restockers!).

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