How the Science of Choice Can Boost Innovation

Ever since the late 1990s, social psychologists have known a surprising truth: If you want to maximize someone’s satisfaction with a choice, don’t give them unlimited options. Instead, you should give them some choice but with clear constraints. This added structure is crucial for picking a desired option with confidence. This research also translates to innovation, which often results from 1) identifying a big problem to solve; 2) breaking it down into sub-problems; 3) identifying how those subproblems had been previously solved; and 4) combining the subproblem solutions in a unique and novel way. This process, which the author calls “choice mapping,” adds helpful constraints to your process.

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