“Too much choice can be a bad thing—not just for the individual, but for society. Thinking about choices makes people less sympathetic to others and less likely to support policies that help people, according to a study published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Simply thinking about ‘choice’ made people less likely to support policies promoting greater equality and benefits for society, such as affirmative action, a tax on fuel-inefficient cars, or banning violent video games. Another experiment found that when people think about choice, they are more likely to blame others for bringing bad events on themselves, like having a heart attack or losing a job.
Thinking about choice led Americans to be less empathetic, but had no effect on Indians.
For Immediate Release
Association for Psychological Science