In Decisive, the authors condense some of the foundational ideas in psychology into the “WRAP Framework” that you can use to improve your decision-making:
- W: Widen your options by avoiding a narrow frame, multitracking (considering multiple ideas simultaneously), and finding someone who has solved your problem before.
- R: Reality-test your assumptions by considering the opposite, zooming out and zooming in, and “ooching”, i.e., constructing small experiments to test your hypothesis.
- A: Attain distance before deciding by overcoming short-term emotion and honoring your core priorities.
- P: Prepare to be wrong by bookending the future (anticipating and preparing for both adversity and success via pre-mortems and pre-parades), setting a tripwire, and trusting the process.
Some more tools/ideas that I especially liked in this book:
- Four villains of good decision-making: Narrow framing, confirmation bias, short-term emotion, and overconfidence.
- To escape narrow frames, be aware of “whether or not” decisions.
- When you need trustworthy information, go find an expert—someone more experienced than you. Just keep them talking about the past and the present, not the future. I really liked this heuristic around how to deal with “experts”, who are usually as wrong as it gets about the future.
- 10/10/10 analysis: Think about a decision on three different time frames: How will you feel about it 10 minutes from now? How about 10 months from now? How about 10 years from now?
Overall, this book is another one of those I can safely recommend you to skip if you’ve already read Thinking Fast and Slow (Review). Otherwise, it’s a good fun read if it’s one of the first psychology books that you’re picking up.
This is #53 in a series of book reviews published weekly on this site.