The Paradox of Choice – quasi book summary and discussion

Barry Schwartz is an American psychologist, Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore College, and since 2016 has been visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on the intersection of psychology and economics… He is also the author of the book “The Paradox of Choice” and he talks about the concepts from the book in this TED talk. In this post I wanted to outline some of the key points he makes, and connect them to a watch collector’s decision-making processes.

Yak shaving and watch collecting

Have you ever heard of the term “Yak shaving”? The term was supposedly coined by Carlin Vieri from MIT, but others attribute its popularity to a Ren and Stimpy episode. Either way, I found it had some applicability to watch collecting, so I decided to share some thoughts on this; while slightly obscure and not wholly enlightening… hopefully still educational!

The Watch Collector’s Matrix

Do you sometimes feel like you spend all your time putting out proverbial fires in your life? At the end of the day do you feel completely sapped and drained of energy, and yet can’t point to anything of real significance which you accomplished that day? Yes? Well then, you are probably confusing the urgent with the important!

In terms of watch purchasing decisions, people tend to have similar problems – where the ‘importance’ is replaced with ‘desire’ – since the purchase of a luxury watch is rarely important. I will talk about the Eisenhower matrix before exploring The Watch Collector’s Matrix in its application to watch purchasing decisions.

Thinking in a Foreign Language Makes Decisions More Rational

‘Would you make the same decisions in a foreign language?’ To judge a risk more clearly, it may help to consider it in a foreign language. A series of experiments on more than 300 people from the U.S. and Korea found that thinking in a second language reduced deep-seated, misleading biases that unduly influence how…