A guide to the inner workings of how decisions are made—and an essential tool kit 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 businesspeople, policy makers, and anyone tasked with helping others make decisions. We are all decision designers, 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.
Praise for The Elements of Choice:

“Illuminating…A strong argument for more thoughtfully presenting options to yield better choices.” —Kirkus

“Indispensable.  This book provides an essential guide to the construction of better choices—for yourself, for other individuals and for society.” —Daniel Kahneman, author of Noise and Thinking, Fast and Slow

“Eric Johnson is the world’s leading expert on choice architecture. No one is better qualified to map the invisible webs of influence that constrain all we do.” —Philip E. Tetlock, author of Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

The Elements of Choice is a must-read for anyone interested in the hidden forces that shape our daily decisions. And as one of the foremost scholars of judgment and decision making, Eric Johnson is the perfect person to write this important and engaging book.” —Katy Milkman, author of How to Change

“Eric Johnson offers a powerful tool kit for designing better end-to-end decision-making processes. His deep insight and expertise shine through on every page.” —Jonah Berger, author of The Catalyst and Contagious

“Eric Johnson distills the modern science of decision-making with incomparable clarity and the most captivating stories. His book is a must read for anyone who wants to know how we can help one another make wiser choices.” —Angela Duckworth, author of Grit

“Anyone serious about knowing how best to structure the features of an offered choice or how best to respond to the presence of those features needs to read this book.” —Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion"

“Every choice you make—from the health plan you select to the sandwich you order for lunch—was designed by someone. The Elements of Choice brilliantly reveals the subtle yet powerful levers that influence your decisions.” —Carol Dweck, author of Mindset

“This book explains human decision-making with the rare clarity and insight that only comes from a researcher at the top of their field. An essential read for anyone who wants to make better choices." —Nir Eyal, author of Hooked and Indistractable

“I love this book. It shows how you can be influenced, when making decisions, by the way the choices are presented to you. Do you think you made up your own mind about saving, spending or investing? Maybe you were subtly guided toward choices best for the financial institution, not for you. Elements of Choice will open your eyes.” —Jane Bryant Quinn, author of How to Make Your Money Last

The Elements of Choice is a manual for designers, policy-makers, and founders to understand how consumers choose. I hope it'll be used to design smarter apps, menus, and policies that help us all choose better.”  —Jon Stein, founder and chairman of Betterment
“An engaging and useful guide to the seemingly inconsequential factors that influence our choices. If you want to make better choices, this book is your chance to learn from a master choice architect.” —Barbara Mellers, George I. Heyman University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania