First, give yourself three minutes to read this article:

Many people believe in a phenomenon called the paradox of choice. Basically, this is the idea that having too many options to choose from is a bad thing because it can lead to feelings of anxiety and indecision. However, there are several reasons why having many options to choose from can actually be a good thing.

First, having a large number of options makes our lives easier by helping us find goods and services that best fit our needs and preferences. In today’s world, there is a vast array of products and services available, and this abundance of options means that there is likely to be something that perfectly meets our needs, whether we are looking for a new car, a vacation destination, or even just a haircut. Since we have many options to choose from, we are less likely to regret our ultimate choice.

Second, the availability of many different choices promotes innovation and progress. In a world with a limited number of options, people may be content with what is available and may not see the need for change. On the other hand, when there are many options to choose from, people are more likely to seek out new and better alternatives. Over time, this forces companies and individuals to create new products and services that differentiate themselves from their competition.

Finally, having many choices increases our personal growth and development. This is because it challenges us to think deeply about our values and priorities. By evaluating a wide range of options, we learn more about ourselves and what is really important to us. This can lead to personal growth and development, as we become more self-aware and better able to make decisions that align with our values and goals.

Next, listen to the following lecture:


You have twenty minutes to answer the following question.  You can refer to the article as you write your essay.  You may not listen to the lecture again.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they oppose specific points made in the reading passage.

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Here is a sample essay:

The reading and the lecture are about whether or not having a lot of choices in our lives is advantageous.  The author feels that this phenomenon is actually a good thing.  On the other hand, the lecturer believes that it can cause serious problems for people and society.

First of all, the author notes that nowadays we are more likely to find goods and services that perfectly meet our needs because there are many options in the marketplace.  This makes our lives easier and it means that we are not likely to regret our choices in life.  In contrast, the professor says that it can be extremely tiring to evaluate all of the options that are available.  He says that this can lead to a problem called “decision fatigue,” which refers to how it is harder to make good decisions as the day goes on.

Next, the article suggests that the availability of many choices leads to innovation in society.  Our tendency to always seek out newer and better options forces companies to produce better goods.  The professor also challenges this point.  He argues that in reality this just causes the marketplace to fill up with mediocre products.  Eventually, this may hinder the overall progress of society.

Finally, it is noted in the article that having many choices  increases our individual growth and development.  This is because we reflect on ourselves and our values when we consider what products to choose.  The professor challenges this argument by saying that this actually causes us to become complacent and lazy.  In fact, we may not seek out more options if we feel that everything we need is already available to us.  As a result, we achieve less success in our personal and professional lives.


This was featured in my YouTube video: