http://www.sina.com.cn 2008年07月03日 16:09
At the electronics store, the situation is no different. Dozens of TVs, DVDs, laptops and phones fill the shelves. Want to buy an iPod? Apple offers nearly 30 models, from 512MB to 60GB, before you've even decided on a colour. Then, of coure, there's the cost-benefit analysis. For more confusion, ask a shop assistant.
"Spoilt for choice" is the English expresstion that describes the dilemma facing today's consumers. Shopping has become an activity in which it is no longer possible to make intelligent informed decisions. This problem is not limited to fast-moving consumer products. It touches every aspect of our lives. Which university degree? Which job? Which holiday? Which investment or insurance? Which partner? Which name for the kids? Cosmetic surgery even offers: which face? And the internet: which identity?
"Spoilt for choice"(可供选择的好东西太多以至于无从下手)就是英语中对当今消费者所面临的窘境的描述。购物不再是一种能够在全面了解信息后作出明智决定的行为了。这一问题不只局限于那些迅速消耗的消费品。它触动了我们生活的方方面面。选择哪种大学学位？选哪份工作？选哪个假日？选哪项投资或保险？选哪个合作伙伴？给孩子取哪个名字？外科整形手术甚至可以让你选择做成哪张脸？因特网上你则需要决定：选择用哪个身份？
Choice is a key aspect of modern society, but too much choice is not necessarily a good thing. Take a study carried out several years ago in the United States. Shoppers in a mall were offered 24 different kinds of jam to try for free. Many people stopped to taste them, but hardly anyone bought any jam. Later, the number of products was reduced to six. This time, fewer people stopped, but ten times as much jam was sold. This result seems hard to believe: surely we are more likely to find something we like from a range four times as large. But practice shows that people are more comfortable if the number of choices is limited.
Remember that for many of the situations we face, the simplest and quickest choice if often the best. Life is too short for anyting else.