The Elements of Choice
A guide to the inner workings of how decisions are made—and an essential toolkit for helping others make decisions better
Plenty of books dwell on the faults in our decision-making or offer advice on how to make better choices. The Elements of Choice goes one step further, and explains how we can design better end-to-end decision-making processes. Going well beyond the familiar concepts of nudges and defaults, Eric J. Johnson offers a comprehensive, systematic guide to creating effective choice architectures, the environments in which decisions are made.
Choice architecture is a multifaceted set of tools for anticipating how people make specific decisions. The designers of decisions need to consider all the elements involved in presenting a choice: how many options to offer, how to present them, how to account for our natural cognitive shortcuts, and much more. These levers are unappreciated, and we’re often unaware of just how much they influence our reasoning.
Johnson is the lead researcher behind some of the most well known and cited research on decision-making. He draws on his original studies and meta-analyses of decision-building findings to reveal how the structure of choices affects outcomes.
This book is essential for business people, policy makers, and anyone tasked with helping others make decisions. We are all choice architects, for ourselves and for others. Whether you’re helping students choose the right school, helping patients pick the right health insurance plan, or deciding how to invest for your own retirement, Johnson provides the tools you need to guide anyone to the decision that’s right for them.