What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 134 Stack Exchange communities.

... the study that measured samples on offer, customer interest and the amount ultimately purchased.

For reference, this is one of the data slides he took from the study: alt text

I'd love to read the study for myself.

share|improve this question

closed as too localized by Jon Seigel, random May 10 '10 at 23:59

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Seeing your name brings up something about a village. –  random Nov 4 '09 at 13:50
3  
Okay, I am the only ruby programmer in the village! –  daf Nov 4 '09 at 14:29

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I belief he was referring to When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? by Sheena S. Iyengar.

The study is also referred to in Chris Anderson's book "The Long Tail", which I'm currently reading. To quote this article:

But what about Anderson’s Long Tail? In his book, Anderson also refers to Iyengar’s study (pages 170 – 172) but has a different take on it. He argues that it’s not so much the number of choices available to us, but the tools available to us to filter and order our alternatives. As he notes, his local grocery story has a lot more than 24 choices of jams, yet they still sell lots of jams. The difference is in how we make the decisions. Anderson quotes the conclusion of Iyengar and her colleagues in another study, “Knowing What You Like versus Discovering What You Want: The Influence of Choice Making Goals on Decision Satisfaction”:

“Despite the detriments associated with choice overload, consumers want choice and they want a lot of it. The benefits that stem from choice, however, come not from the options themselves, but rather from the process of choosing. By allowing choosers to perceive themselves as volitional agents having successfully constructed their preference and ultimate selection outcomes during the choosing task, the importance of choice is reinstated. Consider the request in Forbes’ recent ‘I’m Pro-Choice’ article: “Offer customers abundant choices, but also help them search.” We now know how.”

I'm wondering what Joel thinks of this take on the experiment, especially in relation to the points he made on software development in his keynote.

share|improve this answer

Joel just twittered a link to the "When Choice is Demotivating" study: http://bit.ly/fFxrm

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .