A guide to the inner workings of how decisions are made—and an essential tool kit for helping others make decisions better

An essential guide to the construction of better choices.”

DANIEL KAHNEMAN, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow


Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House Higher Education

Bulk order:


Order UK edition:
Oneworld Publications

Listen to Hidden Brain’s Episode
Featuring Eric and the Elements of choice

Why the way we decide matters


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.

About the author

Eric J. Johnson is the Norman Eig Professor of Business and the director of the Center for Decision Sciences at Columbia Business School. He has been the president of both the Society for Judgment and Decision Making and the Society for Neuroeconomics. He lives in New York City.

Upcoming Events


Please visit my twitter-profil for news and upcoming events:


“Designing better choices”

For more information, visit us at isdm.nyu.edu

RSVP required for in person attendance in accordance with NYU’s event COVID policy: bit.ly/2022DFS

hybrid event— zoom and in person— Jurow Lecture Hall, Rm 101A

zoom: https://nyu.zoom.us/j/99264653193

Meeting ID: 992 6465 3193

Past Events


Yale Center for Customer Insights:
Learning from Leaders Series

Wednesday, December 8, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST


Authors@BCFG event with Eric Johnson
The series Authors@BCFG will feature interviews with BCFG Team Scientists who have written new books aimed at a popular audience.

Friday, October 15, 2021
12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Virtual event


Watch the whole interview on youtubelink.svg


Eric J. Johnson in conversation with Philip E. Tetlock: The Elements of Choice

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Virtual event


Behavioral Economics At Rotman:
Eric J. Johnson on “The Elements of Choice:
Why The Way We Decide Matters”

Monday, November 29, 2021
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST
Virtual event


What others say


The Book

Johnson, E. J. (2021).
The elements of choice: Why the way we decide matters.
New York, NY: Riverhead Books.
ISBN 9780593084434\




Contact contact.svg


Eric Johnson

Norman Eig Professor of Business

Director, Center for the Decision Sciences
Columbia Business School

Columbia University
Uris Hall 525, 3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027



Publicity Contact

Shailyn Tavella
Publicity Manager, Riverhead Books