Making Good Decisions with Cheryl Strauss Einhorn

October 24, 2017

Today I’m glad to welcome Cheryl Einhorn to The Psychology Podcast! Cheryl is the creator of the AREA Method, a decision making system for individuals and companies to solve complex problems. She is also the founder of CSE Consulting and the author of the book Problem Solved, a Powerful System for Making Complex Decisions with Confidence & Conviction. Cheryl teaches as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and has won several journalism awards for her investigative stories about international political, business and economic topics.

In our conversation she takes us through the philosophy behind her unique perspective taking process for making better decisions as well as through each of the steps:

  • The AREA Method gets its name from the perspectives that it addresses: Absolute, Relative, Exploration & Exploitation and Analysis:
    • A, or Absolute, refers to the perspective of the research target. It is primary, uninfluenced information from the source itself.
    • R, or Relative, refers to the perspective of outsiders around the target. It is secondary information, or information that has been filtered through sources connected to the target.
    • E, or Exploration and Exploitation, are really about the human mind. Exploration is about listening to what other people think and believe. Exploitation is about listening to yourself and examining your own assumptions and judgment.
    • The second A, or Analysis, synthesizes all of these perspectives, processing and interpreting the information you’ve collected.

Cheryl also shares stories of the people she encountered along her journey of researching the book and explains a variety of applications of this method. We hope you enjoy this actionable episode, and if you’re interested to applying this method to a decision you’re struggling with right now, be sure to check out Cheryl’s free resources!


Problem Solved: A Powerful System for Making Complex Decisions with Confidence and Conviction is available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Problem-Solved-Decisions-Confidence-Conviction/dp/163265086X/

What Kind of Problem Solver Are You [Quiz] https://app.areamethod.com/

Downloadable “Cheetah Sheets” [Download] http://www.areamethod.com/downloads/

More examples of the AREA method at work [Case Studies] http://www.areamethod.com/area-at-work/

Follow Cheryl on Twitter https://twitter.com/cheryleinhorn

2 Responses to “Making Good Decisions with Cheryl Strauss Einhorn”

  1. asli says:

    I went to check out her book on Amazon and was pretty horrified that it has a foreword by Tony Blair. Is that considered good publicity in America? I wouldn’t have thought it would be anywhere. Tony Blair is not known for his decision making skills. I’m really shocked that someone thought this was a good idea. You know when you see something and feel like it must have come from an alien planet where people don’t have access to the same information?

  2. Todd I Stark says:

    I think I’m seeing an interesting overlap between the AREA method and the rough process outlined by Phil Tetlock that he says his “superforecasters” from the Good Judgment Project seem to use. Do you know if that was part of the inspiration for the method, or is the seemingly overlap something they came up with independently?

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