A Rational Method for Making Trade-offs

Some decisions are easy. If you want to fly from New York to San Francisco as cheaply as possible, you will find the airline that offers the lowest price and buy a ticket.

You have only one goal, so you only need to make one set of comparisons. But having only one goal, as every decision-maker knows, is a rare luxury. Usually, you pursue many different purposes at the same time.

Yes, you want a low price, but you also want a convenient departure time, a direct flight, a runway seat, and an airline with an outstanding safety record. And…