Choice

Choice consists of the mental process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one or more of them. While a choice can be made between imagined options ("what would I do if ...?"), often a choice is made between real options and followed by the corresponding action. For example, a route for a journey is chosen based on the preference of arriving at a given destination as soon as possible. The preferred (and therefore chosen) route is then derived from information about how long each of the possible routes take. This can be done by a route planner. If the preference is more complex, such as involving the scenery of the route, cognition and feeling are more intertwined, and the choice is less easy to delegate to a computer program or assistant.

More complex examples (often decisions that affect what a person thinks or their core beliefs) include choosing a lifestyle, religious affiliation, or political position.

Most people regard having choices as a good thing, though a severely limited or artificially restricted choice can lead to discomfort with choosing and possibly, an unsatisfactory outcome. In contrast, unlimited choice may lead to confusion, regret of the alternatives not taken, and indifference in an unstructured existence; and the illusion that choosing an object or a course leads necessarily to control of that object or course can cause psychological problems.

Read more about ChoiceTypes of Choices, Choice and Evaluability in Economics, Other Uses

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Famous quotes containing the word choice:

    But real action is in silent moments. The epochs of our life are not in the visible facts of our choice of a calling, our marriage, our acquisition of an office, and the like, but in a silent thought by the way-side as we walk; in a thought which revises our entire manner of life, and says,—”Thus hast thou done, but it were better thus.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    People are capable of doing an awful lot when they have no choice and I had no choice. Courage is when you have choices.
    Terry Anderson, U.S. hostage. International Herald Tribune (Paris, May 6, 1992)

    When there is a choice about it, a great sacrifice is preferable to a small sacrifice, because we compensate ourselves for a great one with self-admiration, which is not possible with a small one.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)