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Does Increased Choice make us happy? Essay

According to the statistics released recently, Americans are the people who choose more options at least in every part of life as compared to other nationalities. Nevertheless, philosophically, it is logical to think that when people have more choices, they improve their lives or become happier.

However, psychologically, this supposition is erroneous and unfounded. Even though some choices are fair, it is not always true that increased choices make people happy. For instance, it is not quite clear whether more money amounts to increased happiness. On the contrary, more money and choices have only increased social problems such as family conflict, diseases and economic depression.

Take for example a person who has won a lottery. At first, the person feels excited and makes very many choices regarding the won rotary. However, as time goes by, this happiness dies slowly leaving the person in great stress and depression than before. Researchers from Yale University have revealed that the increased choices affect the well-being of many people all over the world (Schwartz, 2004, pp. 2-4).

There are several factors explain why more choices are not always better than less. For example, the problem of opportunity costs affects people with more choices. Every person aims to buy commodities that exhibit quality irrespective of its price. However, quality goes hand in hand with value meaning, the higher the quality, the higher the price.

Thus, increased choices limit people from differentiating options and alternatives. Eventually, they end up loosing these opportunities, which other options would have afforded. If people presume that opportunity costs causes a decrease in the overall desirability especially the most favorite choice, then the more the increased choices, the greater the sense of loss and dissatisfaction they will derive from the final verdict.

According to the National Time Series, individuals earning an income of below US$27 000 seem to experience a certain amount of happiness in their lives. On the other hand, individuals earning a personal income of above US$27 000 have more choices and experience higher levels of unhappiness in their lives.

This means that, as people become wealthier, they acquire freedom to do anything they wish, but on the contrary, they get less happy. The choices that people make are the ones that define their happiness. For example, to some, buying new clothes makes them happy while to others, travelling around the world induces happiness in them. Thus, happiness is something that people synthesize.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More However, people only imagine what makes them happy for example, a new house, a new car, a job or winning a lottery. Research indicates that human beings make themselves happy through imagination. Thus, by achieving our desires, it does not mean that we are happy. The research further explains that people with multiple choices experience a higher degree of unhappiness as compared to those that have limited choices. This is contrary to what many believe that freedom makes people happy (Merret, 2010, p.1).

In fact, many choices make decision-making more difficult and sometimes many people find it very hard to explore the available options. When it comes to choices, we have two classes of people: maximizers and Satisficers. Maximizers are those people who constantly seek to make the best choices.

However, research shows that the proliferation of options has a negative effect of the psychological well-being of a person, that is, it increases frustration and stress levels. On the other hand, Satisficers are people who aspire to make good enough choices.

Not only do more increased choices cause stress, but also mild disappointment. Recent statistics reveals that many Americans who enjoy a variety of choices end up being less happy and depressed.

This is because they make informed choices that end up frustrating them. In most cases, people who suffer from depression are maximizers hence, a brawny connection between maximizing and depression levels. Increased choices cause disappointments and if at all it is relentless, then every choice that people make fails to yield their expectations and aspirations.

Consequently, they become less happy and devastated. Trouble increases when we take personal responsibilities for the disappointments. This is because as the trifling looms of selection become larger and larger, we fail to make concrete decisions and start blaming ourselves for nothing. Hence, we need to control our choices otherwise; they will overwhelm us and become an epidemic of unhappiness.

Our choices determine our happiness. Thus, if our multiple choices make us unhappy, then we should paternalistically control them for us to be happy. The current world presents humanity with vast choices such as electronics, food, vehicles, houses and much more. It is true that variety is good and people enjoy variety.

We will write a custom Essay on Does Increased Choice make us happy? specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More However, these things make us unhappy. For example, when people consume variety of foods, they end up having weight problems that makes them unhappy. Others may go for brand new cars from a showroom and immediately as they step out of the showroom, they want to buy another new commodity at the end of the month. Teenagers on the other hand are the most affected by increased choices.

Parents give their children freedom to choose and even provide them with latest commodities such as flashy mobile phones, music downloads and money to hang around with friends and so some shopping for themselves. Later on, they become unhappy and discontented with what they have and opt for other choices. Some of them may even start abusing drugs or engaging in obscene acts such as pre-marital affairs (Schwartz, 2004, pp. 8-47).

In conclusion, when people have limited choices, they appear happy. Research has also indicated that the richer people are the less happy they become. This is because people with money have increased choices. The increased choices leave us unhappy. Thus, we should invent modalities of making us happy without necessarily having increased choices. Nevertheless, humanity should not think that by controlling or limiting choices, they will become happy.

The relationship between over-abundance of choices and happiness in human beings is indefinable and complicated. However, we cannot discard the importance of choosing wisely, as it has positive effects in persons although to a certain degree. Notably, if we have increased choices, little by little we loose our psychological benefits even as the negative corollaries of choice hasten. We need to develop a culture that arrests our ability to choose so that we can make good decisions regarding our very many choices.

The decisions that we make regarding our increased choices always determines the level of happiness in us. We should not forget that choice is good and bad. It is good in the sense that it “satiates”, and bad in the sense that it “escalates”. If choice escalates, and normally this happens to maximizers, then they experience misery and unhappiness (Schwartz, 2004, p.1).

Reference List Merret, A. (2010). What makes us happy? Web.

Schwartz, B. (2004). The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. London: HarperCollins.

Schwartz, B. (2004). The Tyranny of Choice. Retrieved from

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Globalization: an Agent for Cultural Conflicts Argumentative Essay

Nursing Assignment Help Table of Contents Introduction

Globalization Leading to Conflict

Positive Attributes of Globalization

Discussion and Conclusion

Works Cited

Introduction Globalization, a process characterized by major integration of economies and cultures, is becoming rife and with it a shift in the way society operates. As communication technologies advance and transportation means become faster and more affordable, the world is slowly turning into a global village where reduction of barriers between nations is upper most in the mind of all.

This trend has as its basis the philosophy the notion that a harmonized world whereby cultural differences are reduced and similarities expounded on is feasible. Globalization has resulted in some positive attributes which have made people view it as a benevolent phenomenon.

However, globalization does pose some significant challenged to the society especially with regard to cultures. This paper shall argue that the intercultural connection that arises from globalization helps to fuel greater cultural conflict. To reinforce this claim, this paper shall review some of the significant effects that are as a result of globalization. The various manners in which globalization has resulted in conflict will also be highlighted.

Globalization Leading to Conflict One of the key features of globalization is that it seeks to create cultural homogenization. For this reason, globalization has been accused of eroding local cultures as well as the national identity of a people. This has been perpetrated mostly through the electronic media which creates multiple cultural exchanges that are consumed all over the world (Blum 92).

The homogenization in question is mostly along the Western culture lines and this might lead to discourse in a nation. Blum asserts that a state which has always relied on its unique cultural environment might find its ability to govern undermined by cultural homogenization (94). As such, the state may be unable to perform certain aspects due to its being undermined as a result of cultural integration which arises as a result of globalization.

Local values, rights afforded to the individual and even human rights differ from one culture to another. Globalization purports to harmonize these by importing or exporting values which are to be adopted by all nations. This has resulted in conflict as some countries remain opposed to some of the practices that are interchanged through globalization. Schwirtz and Yaffa elaborate on this by giving an example of the gays in Moscow who are persecuted for their sexual orientation (1).

This is because homosexuality is viewed as an imported Western value and the Russians are unwilling to embrace or even tolerate this practice which is viewed as perverse. The rights of gay members of the society are therefore not respected and instances of violence against this minority group are rife in Moscow.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More One of the primary characteristics of globalization is the widespread immigration of people. This phenomenon has resulted in people leaving their traditional societies and joining other societies which are alien to them. Fukuyama reveals that once a person moves to a new locality, they run the risk of losing their personal identity which might previously have been supported and therefore protected by their local society (2). This might result in radicalization as in the case of radical Islamism and jihadism.

On the same note, Giddens directly connects globalization to the psychological health of a people by stating that as a result of rampant globalization in the Western countries, people have been forced to seek more therapeutic and counseling services to help them cope (Giddens 47).

This is because globalization has resulted in the shrinkage of tradition and custom as cultures are integrated at previously unprecedented frequencies. As such, the individual’s sense of self which was previously sustained through the community is eroded and this “self-identity” has to be recreated over and over again (Giddens 47).

Huntington proposes that with time, civilization identity will take prime importance in the lives of people and as such, “conflicts will occur along the cultural fault lines that separate one civilization from the other” (25). The author proposes that the difference between cultures has taken centuries or even millenniums to cement and as such, these differences cannot be expected to disappear overnight.

Globalization has resulted in increased interactions between people of different civilizations. This has led to the intensifying of “civilization consciousness and awareness of differences between civilizations” (Huntington 25). This invigorated differences result in animosity towards the people of different civilizations.

Positive Attributes of Globalization Not all effects of globalization are negative and globalization has been seen to lead to more interdependency of countries which results in an increase in positive diplomatic relationships among nations. If properly handled, globalization can result in prosperity as opposed to cultural conflict. Fukuyama demonstrates that by use of tools such as citizenship tests and classes for young citizens, the negative effect of cultural erosion by globalization can be offset and national identity preserved (6). In addition to this, immigration results in an economic dynamism which has positive implications for the country.

Opponents of globalization state that it leads to the doing away of local traditions. Giddens asserts that “it would be wrong to think of traditions as impervious to change since traditions do evolve over time and with each passing generation” (40). As such, the traditions that people hold dear are bound to change over time with or without the globalization process playing a part.

We will write a custom Essay on Globalization: an Agent for Cultural Conflicts specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Giddens goes on to suggest that for a practice to be traditional, it must not have necessarily existed for centuries (41). Instead, it only needs to have been practiced repetitively. This “detraditionalisation” brings about the possibility of greater freedom as people are freed from the constraints of the past (Giddens 47).

Discussion and Conclusion Historically the most violent conflicts have resulted from differences between cultures. Most of the products of globalization have a western influence owing to the power of the Western civilization. This has led to a trend whereby non-West nations have taken up active measures in attempt to shape the world in “non-Western” ways. Bearing this in mind, local culture and traditions should not be rubbed out for the sake of uniformity which is what most proponents of the globalization process advocate.

Instead, the local identity of a people should be preserved but made accommodative to the outsiders who join the local community as a result of globalization. Measures can be taken up to ensure that globalization does not cause the absolute disappearance of local culture. Some countries have proposed coming up with national cinema which are viewed as safeguards to “prevent society from being utterly corrupted by global popular culture (Blum 92).

This paper set out to demonstrate that globalization may result in the fueling of cultural conflicts. To reinforce this claim, the paper has reviewed some of the cultural consequences that have been attributed to globalization. From the discussions presented herein, it is clear that globalization has the potential of fueling conflict between cultures since globalization results in the bringing together of different cultures which would otherwise not have interacted.

To offset this effect, measures should be undertaken to ensure that cultural integrity of a people is respected. Local culture should also take precedence over universal values and practices which globalization seeks to instill on people.

Works Cited Blum, Douglas. National Identity and Globalization. NY: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Fukuyama, Francis. Identity and Migration. Prospect Magazine Issue 131, February, 2007.

Giddens, Anthony. Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping our Lives. Routledge, 2003.

Not sure if you can write a paper on Globalization: an Agent for Cultural Conflicts by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Huntington, Samuel. The Clash of Civilizations? Foreign Affairs; Summer 1993; 72, 3; ABI/INFORM Global pg. 22

Schwirtz, Michael and Yaffa, Joshua. A Clash of cultures at a Square in Moscow. The New York Times, July 11, 2007.