Monday, August 16, 2010

Less Choice, More Happiness

In previous posts and elsewhere, I have made the case that in certain contexts, limiting choices may improve individuals' overall wellbeing.  This is somewhat counter-intuitive-less choice making one happier-but it is in line with a number of recent studies in behavioral economics.  We may in fact want limits on our choices to help us pursue long-term goals that are vulnerable to being thwarted by short-term temptations.

Ron Lieber (writing in the 14 August New York Times) looks at MasterCard's new "inControl" service.  This allows customers to set spending limits on your card or restrict charges from certain sorts of vendors.  Lieber is "convinced that the ability to cut yourself off from certain kinds of spending will become a standard card feature sooner rather than later."

Another case of less choice leader to a more fulfilled ("happier") life.

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