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Evan Ellman


In theory, choice is great. Our sense of freedom largely depends on it, but it doesn't necessarily follow that all choice enhances our independence. This is the problem embodied in the paradox of choice. Choice is liberating in the sense that it enables us to get precisely what we want, but this is at the expense of satisfaction in the decisions we make. The bottom line is that we simply suffer from having to choose between alternatives and the very presence of these alternatives reduces our ability to enjoy the choices we ultimately make.

Through research and personal experience, I've come to see our cultural standards for autonomy as an inhibitor, rather than a contributor to personal freedom. My senior thesis addresses this problem by exploring the way in which choice overload psychologically strains our decision-making, leading to ill-informed decisions and general dissatisfaction with the choices we do make. With this understanding in place, the "art-making" component of my thesis investigates how the fields of psychology and the visual arts can help us find peace in having to make choices by fostering social connectivity through art.

SECTOR C: Art Practice and Technology

ADVISERS: Sharka Hyland (FNAR) | Jason Dana (PSYC)