Make Better Decisions

How to Improve Your Decision-Making in the Digital age

An essential guide to practicing the cognitive skills needed for making better decisions in the age of data, algorithms, and AI.


quotes from some of our favorite people

Steven Sloman

Professor of Cognitive Linguistic & Psychologic Sciences, Brown University and co-author of The Knowledge Illusion

The book takes a novel and creative approach to a problem that has been investigated from every angle. It's refreshing, both in the focus on data and in the clever use of expert recommendations. I'll be scouring it for ideas for my decision-making courses and for my own writing and research.

Michael Bungay Stanier

Author of The Coaching Habit and How to Begin

You already know how to make bad decisions … as do we all. This is the book you've been looking for to help you grow the skills and the confidence to make better decisions more of the time.

Barbara Tversky

Emerita Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, Professor of Psychology at Teachers College at Columbia University, and author of Mind in Motion

So much research on biases in judgment and thinking; how to make use of it? The Edwards have done just that, distilled the numerous disparate phenomena into a practical guide that you can use.

About the Book

An essential guide to practicing the cognitive skills needed for making better decisions in the age of data, algorithms, and AI.

Data promised to make decisions easier. Algorithms promised to reduce how many decisions we need to make. AI promises—or threatens—to make human decisions obsolete. Yet, the opposite is happening because modern data makes decisions harder and AI makes human judgment more—not less—valuable.

All decisions contain an implicit prediction about the future which seems increasingly unpredictable, even chaotic. Data is supposed to help but it doesn't if it's too complex for humans to find meaningful. Data that is confusing, inaccessible, or ambiguous will leave humans relying on their intuition. The result is an evolutionary mismatch between how we think and how machines help us decide.

Make Better Decisions contains 50 nudges that have their lineage in scholarship from behavioral economics, cognitive science, computer science, decision science, design, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology. Each nudge prompts the reader to use their beautiful, big human brain to notice when our automatic decision-making systems will lead us astray in our complex, modern world, and when they'll lead us in the right direction.

About the Authors

Helen Edwards is a Co-Founder of Artificiality. She previously co-founded (acquired by Atlantic Media) and worked at Meridian Energy, Pacific Gas & Electric, Quartz, Transpower NZ. Previously, Helen was the CIO of Transpower, New Zealand’s National Grid, where she oversaw procurement and vendor program management for the IT and communications network. She was an executive at PG&E with responsibility for all customer-facing systems beyond the smart meter, including dynamic pricing, green button (customer data access), solar, electric vehicle, and home area networking. Helen was also head of corporate venturing for Meridian Energy and an executive at Fonterra. Helen also serves as a Commissioner on the State of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

Dave Edwards is a Co-Founder of Artificiality. He previously co-founded (acquired by Atlantic Media) and worked at Apple, CRV, Macromedia, Morgan Stanley, and Quartz. At Apple, Dave was head of software application product marketing with responsibility for products iTunes, iPhoto, Keynote, GarageBand, Logic, and Final Cut Pro. He was also a lead technology research analyst at Morgan Stanley covering groundbreaking sectors including the internet and cleantech, a product manager at Macromedia, head of consumer strategy at SunPower, and a partner at Charles River Ventures and ThinkEquity Partners.