The Paradox of Choice | Maximisers vs Sufficers

I’ve thought a lot on this trip about what makes you ‘happy’ and pleased with a sight seeing/tourist experience. I can see two extremes:

  1. Just get enough out of a day for it to be a great day: some great sights, some good food, meet some nice people.
  2. Everything possible out of the day: every small side trip.  You need to maximize your experience.

Some of the people on our bus trip were quite picky and critical of things that had no worries for me.  Probably vice versa.

I am reminded about a trip I made in 1980 with a guy I had met from the US. I was showing him round the lower half of the North Island. We went Kapiti > Paekakariki > Wellington > Upper Hutt > Masterton > Palmerston North > Levin and home, and boy did we see a lot. I got a thank you card some weeks later saying something like “Apparently there was this place in the Wairarapa we should have gone to, but never mind it was a pretty good trip anyway”

The internet helps feed our need to do everything. I alternately liked and hated having the Tablet trace some of the progress we were making along the Rhine trip.

Apparently this issue is a thing. We tend to be Maximiser or Sufficers in various contexts.

“Psychology researchers have studied how people make decisions and concluded there are two basic styles. “Maximizers” like to take their time and weigh a wide range of options—sometimes every possible one—before choosing. “Satisficers” would rather be fast than thorough; they prefer to quickly choose the option that fills the minimum criteria (the word “satisfice” blends “satisfy” and “suffice”).

“Maximizers are people who want the very best. Satisficers are people who want good enough,” says Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and author of “The Paradox of Choice.”

I found a little quiz about this

I think on holidays for a particular daytime I am a sufficer: easily pleased, no regrets. Buying lunch in a place with 54 cafes I am a maximizer.