Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz is a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College and author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.

Recent Articles

The Real Third Way

Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein argue that by structuring our choices, government can save us from bad economic and social decisions.

About 30 years ago, my family spent a month in London--our first visit. Soon after we arrived, my wife took our 7-year-old daughter to the British Museum. When they left, talking excitedly about what they had seen, they stepped off the curb onto a busy street--and got hit by a car. The driver had managed to slow the car down enough so that there were no serious injuries. He was profusely apologetic, but he shouldn't have been. The fault was my wife's. She had looked the wrong way as she stepped off the curb, hand-in-hand with our daughter. Unwanted collisions like this between drivers and pedestrians were all too common in England because visitors from abroad are not used to people driving on the left side of the road. Faced with this persistent problem, what should the state do? It could do nothing. Respect people's freedom and autonomy. Assume that people will pursue their rational self-interest. Not patronize. Or it could do a little something. It could post signs at busy...