Skip navigation
Paperback | $29.95 Trade | £24.95 | 360 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 20 b&w illus. | September 2017 | ISBN: 9780262534291
eBook | $29.95 Trade | September 2017 | ISBN: 9780262343237
Mouseover for Online Attention Data

Sources of Power, 20th Anniversary Edition

How People Make Decisions


Since its publication twenty years ago, Sources of Power has been enormously influential. The book has sold more than 50,000 copies, has been translated into six languages, has been cited in professional journals that range from Journal of Marketing Research to Journal of Nursing, and is mentioned by Malcolm Gladwell in Blink. Author Gary Klein has collaborated with Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and served on a team that redesigned the White House Situation Room to support more effective decision making. The model of decision making Klein proposes in the book has been adopted in fields including law enforcement training and petrochemical plant operation. What is the groundbreaking new way to approach decision making described in this modern classic?

We have all seen images of firefighters rescuing people from burning buildings and paramedics treating bombing victims. How do these individuals make the split-second decisions that save lives? Most studies of decision making, based on artificial tasks assigned in laboratory settings, view people as biased and unskilled. Klein proposes a naturalistic approach to decision making, which views people as gaining experience that enables them to use a combination of intuition and analysis to make decisions. To illustrate this approach, Klein tells stories of people—from pilots to chess masters—acting under such real-life constraints as time pressure, high stakes, personal responsibility, and shifting conditions.

About the Author

Gary Klein is Senior Scientist at MacroCognition LLC. He is the author of The Power of Intuition, Seeing What Others Don’t, Working Minds: A Practitioner’s Guide to Cognitive Task Analysis (with Beth Crandall and Robert R. Hoffman), and Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making, the last two published by the MIT Press.


Sources of Power opened my eyes to an entirely new way of looking at the world. It is as relevant now as it was twenty years ago.”
Malcolm Gladwell
“Klein is one of our era’s very few most important thinkers on decision making, and this brilliant book is a classic. Ever wonder how people solve fiendishly hard problems in an instant, or how you can do that, too? Look no further; this book offers answers.”
Cass R. Sunstein, Founder and Director, Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Harvard University