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Why Your Life Should Be More Like Spaghetti Sauce.

The perfect recipe does not mean a perfect spaghetti sauce; thus, a perfect life does not mean a happy life.

“In embracing the diversity of human beings, we will find a surer way to true happiness.”

What we can learn from Howard Moskowits, psychophysicist and researcher, and how he forever changed how the food industry thinks about consumer preferences may shed light on how we can live a happier life.

In his study, he finds that choices is the source of customer happiness.

Moskowitz first put this idea into practice when Campbell Soup Company asked him to conduct taste tests for Prego, the firm’s spaghetti sauce. Prego was lagging far behind market leader Ragu despite offering a superior product.

He didn’t look for a universal preference among testers. Instead, he clustered the data around several preferences and concluded that most Americans fell into one of three categories: plain, spicy, or extra chunky.

Prego quickly produced a line of such sauces, which generated more than $600 million in a decade.

The food industry took notice and began to offer different varieties of products to appeal to diverse tastes. This is why you have so much choice at the supermarket.

Just like in this study where one perfect recipe for spaghetti sauce does not exist, there is no one perfect way to live your life.

It is in an experienced life with multitude of choices, variations, and changes where you can truly live a happier life.

 


 

Choice, Happiness and Spaghetti Sauce Book Cover Choice, Happiness and Spaghetti Sauce
TED Conferences LLC
2006
Video
TED
Malcolm Gladwell
Psychophysicist & Researcher

 

Malcolm Gladwell searches for the counterintuitive in what we all take to be the mundane: cookies, sneakers, pasta sauce. A New Yorker staff writer since 1996, he visits obscure laboratories and infomercial set kitchens as often as the hangouts of freelance cool-hunters -- a sort of pop-R&D gumshoe -- and for that has become a star lecturer and bestselling author.

Sparkling with curiosity, undaunted by difficult research (yet an eloquent, accessible writer), his work uncovers truths hidden in strange data. His always-delightful blog tackles topics from serial killers to steroids in sports, while provocative recent work in theNew Yorker sheds new light on the Flynn effect -- the decades-spanning rise in I.Q. scores.

Gladwell has written four books. The Tipping Point, which began as a New Yorker piece, applies the principles of epidemiology to crime (and sneaker sales), while Blink examines the unconscious processes that allow the mind to "thin slice" reality -- and make decisions in the blink of an eye. His third book, Outliers, questions the inevitabilities of success and identifies the relation of success to nature versus nurture. The newest work, What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures, is an anthology of his New Yorkercontributions.

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