How People Decide When They Have So Many Choices

How do you choose which snack to buy from the snack machine with 36 options?

Ohio State University researchers used eye-tracking technology to find that the amount of time people spend looking at individual items may actually help them decide. People actually looked around in a way that seemed random, but depended on the physical location of the items as well as how much they were liked.

Data shows participants ultimately chose the snack item they looked at only about 45 percent of the time, and “made a choice when they concluded the best option was sufficiently better than the next-best option.”