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:

    At birth man is offered only one choice—the choice of his death. But if this choice is governed by distaste for his own existence, his life will never have been more than meaningless.
    Jean-Pierre Melville (1917–1973)

    If the heart beguiles itself in its choice [of a wife], and imagination will give excellencies which are not the portion of flesh and blood:Mwhen the dream is over, and we awake in the morning, it matters little whether ‘tis Rachael or Leah,—be the object what it will, as it must be on the earthly side ... of perfection,—it will fall short of the work of fancy, whose existence is in the clouds.
    Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)

    A girl loves most often because she is loved,Mnot from choice on her part. She is won by the flattery of the man’s desire.
    Anthony Trollope (1815–1882)