Review of The Elements of Choice by Eric Johnson

In The Elements of Choice, Eric Johnson provides a very good introduction to choice architecture which complements the book Nudge, although with commercial applications as well as ones from public policy.

He discusses different aspects of choice architecture, including path dependency, fluency, number of options, ordering of options and naming of options as well as other. He also uses some insightful analogies such as mise en place and airline cockpits as examples of designing the environment and the role of architectural design in shaping behaviour.

Eric Johnson also adds to (and generally concurs with Thaler & Sunstein) on the debate about organ donation and presumed consent, pointing out that there are many more steps than the initial consent (especially considering the donor’s next of kin). He was one of the authors of the (in)famous paper on using defaults for organ donation, so is well versed in the topic.

This is a great read for anyone interested in applying the principles of psychology to the design of better products and solutions.


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