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Perfectly Confident: How to Calibrate Your Decisions Wisely

May 26, 2020

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An expert on the psychology of decision making at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business examines the importance of being confident, arguing that confidence is good, but overconfidence can hinder growth.


A surge of confidence can feel fantastic—offering a rush of energy, even a dazzling vision of the future. It can give us courage and bolster our determination when facing adversity. But if that self-assurance leads us to pursue impossible goals, it can waste time, money, and energy. Self-help books and motivational speakers tell us that the more confident we are, the better. But this way of thinking can lead to enormous trouble.

Decades of research demonstrates that we often have an over-inflated sense of self and are rarely as good as we believe. Perfectly Confident: How to Calibrate Your Decisions Wisely (HarperBusiness; May 26) is the first book to bring together the best psychological and economic studies to explain exactly what confidence is, when it can be helpful, and when it can be destructive in our lives.

Confidence is an attitude that takes into account both personal feelings and the facts. In Perfectly Confident, psychology expert Don Moore identifies the ways confidence behaves in real life and raises thought-provoking questions. How optimistic should you be about an uncertain future? What justifies your confidence in something amorphous and subjective like your attractiveness or sense of humor?

Moore reminds us that the key to success is to avoid being both over- and under-confident. In this essential guide, he shows how to become perfectly confident—how to strive for and maintain the well-calibrated, adaptive confidence that can elevate all areas of our lives.


“A masterpiece. Moore is the perfect guide to perfect confidence: himself the leading scholar on the topic of but also a storyteller and advisor par excellence.” —Angela Duckworth, author of Grit

“In his eye-opening new book, Don Moore unravels the mysteries of confidence. He shows that too much confidence produces blunders, but too little leads to missed opportunities. So, he shows us how to chart a middle path—one rooted in honest and realistic self-assessment. If you want to make smarter decisions about the future—for yourself and your organization—Perfectly Confident is an essential read. —Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive 



Don Moore is a Professor of Management of Organizations at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where he teaches popular courses in leadership, negotiations, and decision-making. He also consults on these topics.

With Max Bazerman, he is the coauthor of Judgment in Managerial Decision Making, one of the bestselling textbooks in the field. Additionally, Moore was one of the principal investigators on the Good Judgment Project, a forecasting tournament sponsored by the U.S. government’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). The forecasters involved established an excellent record predicting the outcomes of major world events, and this project was chronicled by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner in their 2015 book, Superforecasting.

Moore has authored or coauthored columns published by The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, Fortune, Forbes Leadership Forum, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Harvard Business Review, the Harvard Negotiation Newsletter, and others. His work has been covered in The New York Times, Money, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Financial Times, The New Yorker, Businessweek, Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Entrepreneur, PBS’s Nightly Business Report, CNN, NPR, KCBS,,, and numerous other media outlets and websites. Moore writes a blog entitled Perfectly Confident for Psychology Today.


This giveaway is brought to you by Harper Business, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.



Editor's Note: Porchlight Book Company has implemented the CDC’s recommendations for workplace cleaning, disinfecting, and social distancing. We continue shipping books even as employees nonessential to that operation have been directed to work from home, but book giveaway shipments may see a lag in shipping time as we prioritize shipping book orders. We do want to keep getting you great books to read during this time, so hang in there! 

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