Choice architecture, the way choices are presented to people, is often overlooked as an important influence on both big and small decisions. One of the world’s most recognized researchers on decision-making, Eric Johnson, has studied choice architecture and its effects on behavior. Understanding how we make choices and improving their presentation helps us design better processes for many important situations. We are all choice architects, Eric says.
Eric joins Brainfluence to dissect our roles as choice architects and explain how to change our choice architectures to arrive at better decisions. A well-designed choice architecture helps you to look beyond the easiest and most accessible paths or memory-based preferences. Eric also explains how default choices are formed, the 3 E’s that make them, and how to not be blinded by them.
You’ll learn about how choice architecture applies to our most basic decisions in life, including choosing a dress to wear or voting for a political party. You’ll also learn to make better decisions when faced with an overwhelming number of options. In a nutshell, you’ll understand that the clearer you can see your choices, the better your decision-making becomes.We are all choice architects, says @ProfEricJohnson, author of THE ELEMENTS OF CHOICE. #decisionmaking #choicearchitecture Click To Tweet
Key Highlights – Eric Johnson
- [02:12] The role of a choice architect is to present choices to other people.
- [03:52] Plausible paths are the options you create from the information you find helpful and understandable.
- [06:05] Ease makes a path plausible. Multiple other factors that don’t have to do with the quality of the options in hand add to your plausible paths.
- [07:39] Explaining memory preferences – when bombarded with multiple options, your brain simplifies the situation by taking a memorable path.
- [14:33] Choice architecture in the voting process – Eric shares that the person first on the ballot gets a 1-2% increase in votes. Randomizing the ballot, however, can give a different outcome.
- [17:59] Default choices are often highly reliable.
- [19:19] The default effect is the phenomenon of making default choices. These are influenced by the three E’s –
- Ease – How easy is it to make your default choice?
- Endorsement – Does someone you trust endorse the choice?
- Endowment – Do you think you own the option?
- [26:02] To keep your decisions from leading you astray, you need to understand the processes going on thoroughly.
- [26:48] The Paradox of Choice – The “cost” of making up your mind increases with the number of options, but the same phenomenon also helps you discover the available options.
- [29:45] Your choices are very susceptible to how the designer presents them.
Eric Johnson Quotes
“There are lots of examples of people using choice architecture in their own best interests, sometimes at the cost of the chooser.”
“If you really try to get your customers to do something, and it’s to their benefit, then make that the default. If it’s not to their benefit, then you may want to give them a much more clear choice.”
“Choices are very susceptible to the way the designer presents them.”
About Eric Johnson
Eric J. Johnson is the lead researcher behind some of the most important research on decision-making. He is the Norman Eig Professor of Business and the director of the Center for Decision Sciences at Columbia Business School. He has presided over both the Society for Judgment and Decision Making and the Society for Neuroeconomics.
Eric Johnson Resources
Website: The Elements Of Choice
Amazon: The Elements Of Choice
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Full Eric Johnson Transcript: