The Smarter Screen

Surprising Ways to Influence and Improve Online Behavior

Publisher: Portfolio
A leading behavioral economist reveals the tools that will improve our decision making on screens

Office workers spend the majority of their waking hours staring at screens. Unfortunately, few of us are aware of the visual biases and behavioral patterns that influence our thinking when we’re on our laptops, iPads, smartphones, or smartwatches. The sheer volume of information and choices available online, combined with the ease of tapping "buy," often make for poor decision making on screens.

In The Smarter Screen, behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi reveals a tool kit of interventions for the digital age. Using engaging reader exercises and provocative case studies, Benartzi shows how digital designs can influence our decision making on screens in all sorts of surprising ways.

For example: 
• You’re more likely to add bacon to your pizza if you order online. 
• If you read this book on a screen, you’re less likely to remember its content. 
• You might buy an item just because it’s located in a screen hot spot, even if better options are available. 
• If you shop using a touch screen, you’ll probably overvalue the product you’re considering. 
• You’re more likely to remember a factoid like this one if it’s displayed in an ugly, difficult-to-read font. 

Drawing on the latest research on digital nudging, Benartzi reveals how we can create an online world that helps us think better, not worse.



This book would not exist without the help of many people. I benefited from huge amounts of feedback, both during the development of the ideas in this book and during the writing process. First, I was incredibly fortunate to get access to many brilliant academics, scientists, and...

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"This book is a real eye-opener. It describes how we really function in a screen-based society, and how the digital world is changing our thinking about ourselves and others."
—ROBERT SHILLER, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics; professor of economics at Yale University; author of Finance and the Good Society

"We know that the way we organize a buffet influences the choices people make. What is much less clear is the way online environments influence our decisions. In this useful book, Benartzi and Lehrer give us precise insights about the relationship between what we see on the screen, what we think, and what we choose."
—DAN ARIELY, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University; author of Predictably Irrational

"Our lives increasingly depend on the interaction of bounded minds with bound-less information on screens. In this insightful book, Benartzi explores the human experience in the digital world and considers the many ways—social, psychological, ethical, and financial—we might make screens serve us better. A fun, important, and revelatory read!"
—ELDAR SHAFIR, professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University; coauthor of Scarcity

"What makes businesses such as Uber and Amazon so disruptive is nothing other than the magical power of the screen. Change the interface and our behavior changes. We like to believe that our preferences exist independently of the medium in which we express them. But as this book so brilliantly explains, this is very far from the truth."
—RORY SUTHERLAND, vice chairman, Ogilvy & Mather UK

"If you think you know how screens influence human behavior, think again. This book is a must-read for investors, business owners, and anyone else with a stake in how people make decisions in the digital age."
—BILL HARRIS, CEO of Personal Capital; former CEO of Intuit and PayPal