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Thinning Out the Choices

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In an interview, Dr. Sheena Iyengar suggested a way to pare down a number of choices with a process she calls the “Four Cs”:

  1. Cut. Get rid of the irrelevant choices and the ones that look similar.

  2. Categorize. Break it up into categories of small numbers of choices.

  3. Condition for Complexity. Make it easier to understand and learn about the choices.

  4. Concretize. Make the consequences tangible. In a financial context, if you give me tables of risk, it’s only meaningful to me if you tell me how it will affect my life in concrete ways. Then it’s helpful.