Summary of Smarter COVID-19 Decision-Making

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

Smarter COVID-19 Decision-Making summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening
  • Hot Topic


Panic, fear, uncertainty – as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, these emotions can trigger a string of irrational decision-making. Data scientist Cassie Kozyrkov offers a more level-headed approach. As the head of decision intelligence at Google, she offers a systematic blueprint to help you reach rational decisions as you respond to the crisis. While the information is a tad simple for true “data nerds,” concerned laypeople will rest easier having a framework to help inform virus-related decisions moving forward.

About the Author

Cassie Kozyrkov is Google’s head of decision intelligence. She is an expert in data and decision-making.



When reaching decisions – those related to COVID-19 or otherwise – avoid irrational thinking.

Two cognitive fallacies – confirmation bias (a tendency to believe only information that substantiates your existing beliefs) and ambiguity aversion (a preference for known risks over unknown risks) – can entice you to make uninformed assumptions about the pandemic and then gather data that fit those views. To strengthen your ability to reason through problems, consider the litany of actions you could take, and develop standards for making decisions before you collect information. Some suggestions – from a data expert rather than a physician – may help you make better judgment calls during the COVID-19 crisis.

Let your personal ethics inform your goals.

Home in on the principles and values you cherish most. Ascertain whom you believe you have a responsibility to protect – yourself, your family, your friends, the broader community or the world.

Once you’ve figured out what you consider to be right and wrong, you’ll have a better perspective from which to make judgments. For example...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Leading Out of Adversity
CDC Recommends Sweeping Changes to American Offices
What Big Tech Wants Out of the Pandemic
Restarting America Means People Will Die
How Pandemics Change History
You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus

Related Channels

Comment on this summary