Leadership, Ethics, and Trust

The Choice Architect: The Myth of the Neutral Finance Officer

Image from December 2021 GFR

A popular conception of the public finance officer is as a neutral arbiter, perhaps like an umpire in a baseball game who calls balls and strikes. However, psychological and design research shows that the environment we exist within has a distinct influence on the choices we make. Because the finance officer has a decisive role in architecting the decision-making environment by virtue of what information is presented and how it is presented, he or she cannot be perfectly neutral.