Through a series of experiments, Iyengar has demonstrated that an excess of options can lead to indecision and paralysis. In one of her most influential studies, she and another researcher set up a table at a luxury food store and offered shoppers samples of jams. Sometimes the researchers offered six types of jam, but other times they offered twenty-four. When they offered twenty-four, people were more likely to stop in and have a taste. But, strangely, they were far less likely to actually buy any jam. People who stopped to taste the smaller number of jams were almost ten times more likely to buy jam than people who stopped to taste the larger number.
Don’t you see what’s happening to us? There’s just too much jam out there. If you’re on a date with certain jam, you can’t even focus, ‘cause as soon as you go to the bathroom, three other jams have texted you. You go online, you see more jam there. You put in filters to find the perfect jam. There are iPhone apps that literally tell you if there is jam nearby that wants to get eaten at that particular moment!
Aziz Ansari (2015) Modern Romance