When I was running World Link, we used to talk about something we called “the phew factor”. For us, it meant giving our advertisers something simple and direct, so they didn’t face the anxiety of too much choice. “Phew,” they would say.
Well, the phew factor seems to be making inroads into policy circles. Martin Kettle describes how The Paradox of Choice, by Barry Schwartz, is the new must-read for Blairites. “Schwartz’s fundamental point is that greater choice does not make people happier. In some circumstances, indeed, it can cause them stress and even clinical depression.”