After reading Joel Spolsky’s “Choices = Headaches” article, I listened to Prof. Barry Schwartz’s presentation “Too Many Choices: Who Suffers and Why,” which was sufficiently interesting enough for me to read his book “The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.” Read the article, listen to the MP3, and read the book.
Being confronted with too many choices is psychologically disturbing to people. The research in the psychology of decision-making is very interesting. I’d bore you with inaccurately regurgitated tales, but you’d do better just listening to the presentation above. It’s worth your time. I promise.
Schwartz draws heavily on work done by Daniel Kahneman, whose 2002 Nobel prize lecture is worth reading (PDF).
The “Taxicab Problem” is interesting.