The Art of Choosing: Exploring the Challenges of Choice in Daily Life



Sheena IyengarSheena Iyengar
S.T. Lee Professor of Business
Columbia School of Business

Jim Wise Theater
October 13, 2010, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Download the flyer (425 KB, pdf)

A customer at an Apple store asks for the latest iPhone in black, but then suddenly changes his preference to white when he sees everyone else buying black. Although the child knows she shouldn't press the big red button, she finds her hand inching toward it. In some cultures, young men and women who decide to marry know that they will see each other in person for the first time on their wedding day. How did these people make their choices? How do any of us make vital and mundane choices?

In her Technology and Society Forum presentation, Sheena Iyengar will address these questions and suggest answers drawn from her discipline-spanning research. She will explore the complex relationship between choice and freedom, and why one doesn't always complement the other. Iyengar will explain how too much choice can overwhelm us, and how our choices are shaped by forces both obvious and subtle.

Iyengar is the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology, and research director at the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business. Iyengar’s primary research interest is how people perceive and respond to choice, research that has garnered honors which include the Best Dissertation Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology in 1998 and the Presidential Early Career Award in 2002.

Popular media such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Time magazines, the BBC and National Public Radio regularly cite Iyengar’s work. She recently presented her insights into the complexities of choices we make each day in her first book, The Art of Choosing.

NJIT welcomes attendees from Essex County College, Rutgers-Newark, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.




Co-sponsors: NJIT Technology and Society Forum Committee, Albert Dorman Honors College, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Murray Center for Women in Technology, Graduate Student Association, Sigma Xi. Additional support has been provided by Cengage Learning and LPL Financial.