Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler Joins Alliance Advisory Council

February 2nd, 2022

The Alliance for Decision Education has added Nobel Prize Winner Richard Thaler to its growing list of distinguished leaders working to have decision-making skills taught to students K-12 in all U.S. schools.

Thaler, the global best-selling author, and an expert on the psychology of decision-making, won the Nobel Prize in 2017 for his breakthrough work that created a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making.

Children begin making meaningful decisions early in their lives. There can be no more important skill than making sound choices, and no topic more deserving of attention in schools. We can and must help.”

Richard Thaler

Nobel Prize Winner and best-selling Author on psychology of decision-making

Thaler’s highly acclaimed book, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, which he co-authored with Harvard University Professor Cass Sunstein, demonstrated that by applying insights from behavioral sciences, organizations can guide – or nudge – human behavior in areas such as public policy, finance, and health. It has transformed how many industries, companies, organizations, and governments apply behavioral science to influence improved outcomes and has been called one of the most influential academic books of the 21st Century.

The Alliance for Decision Education, founded in 2014, has accelerated its work to have Decision Education added to school curriculums, citing mounting evidence that students are struggling in today’s fast-paced, constant flow of electronic information and also are increasingly ill prepared for a world that is demanding skills in problem-solving, analytical thinking, probabilistic thinking, and reasoning.

By teaching our children the critical skills of decision-making, we can prepare them for the opportunities and challenges they are facing today and will encounter tomorrow. We know that better decisions lead to better lives. We also know that poorly made decisions can carry lifelong consequences.

Joseph E. Sweeney, Ed.D.

Alliance Executive Director

Thaler, who will serve on the Alliance Advisory Council, is the second Nobel Laureate among more than two dozen global business, science, education, and sports leaders to join the Alliance, helping to propel its mission into reality.

The list of supporters committed to the Alliance mission includes:

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize Winner, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, and the world’s authority on decision science
Jan E. Tighe, retired Navy Vice Admiral and former Director of Naval Intelligence
John E. Pepper, Jr., former Chairman and CEO of the Procter & Gamble Company and former Chair of The Walt Disney Company
Michelle Ton, Head of Sales Decision Science at PayPal, and an expert in quantitative analytics
Garry Kasparov, international chess champion and political strategist
Barbara Tversky, ground-breaking researcher in cognitive psychology and professor emerita at Stanford University
Annie Duke, World Series Poker Champion, best-selling author on decision-making, and a widely celebrated speaker and coach who teaches investors, company executives, and financial leaders the power and process of critical thinking and decision-making
Michael Lombardi, former NFL GM, three-time Super Bowl winner, author, speaker, and host of the GM Shuffle podcast
Andrew Berry, Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager for the Cleveland Browns, named the most the most analytically advanced franchise in the league

“Having leaders of this caliber join our work speaks to the critical importance of having Decision Education included in our schools. If there is one thing that we can do to help ensure the long-term well-being of our students—and our society—it is to teach our children the skills of good decision-making,” Sweeney said.

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