The Paradox of Choice

 By Suzie Nielsen


Decisions, decisions, decisions! We are faced with a multitude of simple decisions every day. Yet, I wonder just how many of the choices we make Are really Our Own Choice? While certainly we are aware of some marketing ploys, how many people are truly aware of the subtle psychological tricks played on us every day? And how these tricks affect our pocket books?

Have you ever paid the cheaper price for a comparable expensive item, only to find out you paid too much for the cheaper item anyway? But, next to that overpriced expensive item, it appeared to be a good buy! Well, that’s called marketing! It is a trick!

While no one wants to admit to being the pawn in a losing scheme, which is exactly what they count on, people must begin to open up about these schemes to save others from the same unfortunate experience. The psychological game is played out well upon unsuspecting victims.

Although these same “mind games” are instituted in just about every aspect of our lives, from the advertising aimed at kids to demand certain products from the parents, to the outrageous underhanded -bordering on illegal- maneuvers currently under way in Washington. We find ourselves in a state of disbelief that others could make such obviously ridiculous decisions! We must not have watched that particular TV commercial.

Don’t shoot the messenger, when I tell you that the majority of daily decisions are really not of your own choosing. Yes, that is a hard FACT to swallow. But, let’s just examine one small example… can you please tell me the real difference between Potato Chip Brand X and Brand Z? Do you even know WHY you buy Brand X over Brand Z? Bingo! If you said Marketing, you are 100% correct! But, and there is always a but…

Are you aware of the extent of this “Marketing”, the millions of dollars spent annually just to insure that you will purchase Brand X. This is an area where I find that free market enterprise, really is not Free! It is always of game of survival of the fittest, or in this case he with the most money to spend on advertising research wins the brass ring! The little guy doesn’t stand a chance.

We must begin to be mindful of this psychological game because the most powerful game and the most destructive players are in control of our Country! With the coming elections we must learn to look beyond the Beautiful Packaging to learn what is really in the box. Some wonderful gifts come with No beautiful package.

As we watch the election campaigns begin, please be ever mindful of the “mind game” you are watching- it is after all for your benefit. When you spot those cleverly disguised ploys, and you can spot them, we must alert others. Some of the marketing is so subtle as to play on your subconscious, we must become aware. The next time you receive a big beautiful package, unwrap it carefully, could be just a lump of coal inside!

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Comment by Hugh Akston on April 4, 2011 at 8:35am

Excellent summation of my Propaganda Blogs. You call it Marketing and I call it Propaganda. Same thing in a different wrapper, politics, news, marketing, even job interviews contain it. The company wants to buy your services at the lowest price and you want to sell at the highest price possible. (Knowing this once got me a 25% pay raise when I changed company.)


It does influence your choices, even knowing that it does will influence your future choices. “The Magicians choice!”


God Bless.

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