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Choice behavior

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Choice behavior consists of the mental process of thinking involved with the process of judging the merits of multiple options and making the decision to select one of them for action. Some simple examples include deciding whether to get up in the morning or go back to sleep, or selecting a given route for a journey. More complex examples (often decisions that affect what a person thinks or their core beliefs) include choosing a lifestyle, religious affiliation, or political position.

Most people regard having choices as a good thing, though a severely limited or artificially restricted choice can lead to discomfort with choosing and possibly, an unsatisfactory outcome. In contrast, unlimited choice may lead to confusion, regret of the alternatives not taken, and indifference in an unstructured existence; and the illusion that choosing an object or a course leads necessarily to control of that object or course can cause psychological problems.

In psychology

Main article: choice theory

In Consumer psychology

Selecting an item or action from a set of possible alternatives. Individuals must make decisions about desired goods and services because these goods and services are limited.

In economics and politics

See also: rational choice theory, public choice theory, social choice theory

In law

The age at which children or young adults can make meaningful and considered choices poses issues for ethics and for jurisprudence.

See also


  • Barry Schwartz (2005). The Paradox of Choice: why more is less, Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0060005696.
  • Daniel Kahneman (Editor), Amos Tversky (Editor) (1999). Choices, Values, and Frames, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521627498.

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