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The guru to the gurus at last shares his knowledge with the rest of us. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman's seminal studies in behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, and happiness studies have influenced numerous other authors, including Steven Pinker and Malcolm Gladwell. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman at last offers his own, first book for the general public. It is a lucid and enlightening summary of his life's work. It will change the way you think about thinking.
Two systems drive the way we think and make choices, Kahneman explains: System One is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System Two is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Examining how both systems function within the mind, Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities as well as the biases of fast thinking and the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and our choices. Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, he shows where we can trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking, contrasting the two-system view of the mind with the standard model of the rational economic agent.
Kahneman's singularly influential
work has transformed cognitive psychology and launched the new fields of
behavioral economics and happiness studies. In this path-breaking book,
Kahneman shows how the mind works, and offers practical and
enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and
personal lives - and how we can guard against the mental glitches that
often get us into trouble.
This review is from: Thinking, Fast and Slow (Hardcover)Daniel Kahneman may have won his Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, but his work was psychological in nature as it challenged the rational model of judgment and decision-making. He's considered one of the most important psychologists alive today, and this book doesn't disappoint with its breakthrough approach to understanding the "machinery of the mind."
Kahneman introduces two mental systems, one that is fast and the other slow. Together they shape our impressions of the world around us and help us make choices. System 1 is largely unconscious and it makes snap judgments based upon our memory of similar events and our emotions. System 2 is painfully slow, and is the process by which we consciously check the facts and think carefully and rationally. Problem is, System 2 is easily distracted and hard to engage, and System 1 is wrong as often as it is right. System 1 is easily swayed by our emotions. Examples he cites include the fact that pro golfers are more accurate when putting for par than they are for birdie (regardless of distance), and people buy more cans of soup when there's a sign on the display that says "Limit 12 per customer."
There are lots of interesting anecdotes as well as layman's summaries of psychological research that will leave you feeling fascinated by the brain. The book has 38 chapters broken into five sections. I've listed some of the chapter titles for each section to give you a feel for what it's about:
PART ONE - TWO SYSTEMS
1. The Characters of the Story
2. Attention and Effort
3. The Lazy Controller
4. A Machine for Jumping to Conclusions
5. How Judgments Happen
PART TWO - HEURISTICS AND BIASES
6. The Law of Small Numbers
7. Availability, Emotion, and Risk
8. Tom W's Specialty
9. Linda: Less is More
10. Causes Trump Statistics
11. Taming Intuitive Predictions
PART THREE - OVERCONFIDENCE
12. The Illusion of Understanding
13. The Illusion of Vanity
14. Intuitions Vs. Formulas
15. Expert Intuition: When Can We Trust It?
PART FOUR - CHOICES
16. Prospect Theory
17. Bad Events
18. Risk Policies
19. Keeping Score
PART FIVE - TWO SELVES
20. Life as a Story
21. Experienced Well-Being