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In the film The Matrix, Neo is offered the option of consuming either the red pill or the blue pill. Picking the red pill would result in the truth of Neo's world being revealed to him, while picking the blue pill would allow him to continue in ignorance. Thus, Neo must judge the merits of the possible outcomes of his choice.

Choice involves mentally making a decision: judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one or more of them. One can make a choice between imagined options ("what would I do if ...?") or between real options followed by the corresponding action. For example, a traveller might choose a route for a journey based on the preference of arriving at a given destination as soon as possible. The preferred (and therefore chosen) route can then follow from information such as the length of each of the possible routes, traffic conditions, etc. If the arrival at a choice includes more complex motivators, cognition, instinct and feeling can become more intertwined.

Simple choices might include what to eat for dinner or what to wear on a Saturday morning - choices that have relatively low-impact on the chooser's life overall. More complex choices might involve (for example) what candidate to vote for in an election, what profession to pursue, a life partner, etc. - choices based on multiple influences and having larger ramifications.

Most people{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Quantify |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[quantify] }} 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, a choice with excessively numerous options may lead to confusion, regret of the alternatives not taken, and indifference in an unstructured existence;<ref> Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice (2004) </ref> and the illusion that choosing an object or a course leads necessarily to control of that object or course can cause psychological problems.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}


Choice sections
Intro  Types  Evaluability in economics  Number of options and the paradox of choice  Relationship to identity   Attitudes   Other uses  See also  References  External links  

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