Insightful, Awakening, Demonstrative
The fact that we think "system two", the part of us we consider as "our self" is in control, when in fact "system one" is really in the driver's seat and gets the fist pass at everything we perceive, which can result in systemic errors and/or cognitive illusions that instill and reinforce beliefs that are actually false and unfounded.
This book and/or it's subject matter should be standard high school curriculum. It's kind of a user's manual of how the human mind / human cognition works. And if more people were equipped with this knowledge, the understanding of how they and others perceive the world, and the systematic errors that can arise from the basic mechanics of the mind's inner-workings, the world would be a better place.
Life is short, make sure you have fun
Great psychology/behavioral book which focuses on human biases, rationality, fallacies, and the quest for happiness. Kahneman breaks the mind down into two agents to help explain his theories:
System 1: Fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, subconscious
System 2: Slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious
Although it can be complicated at times, overall this book is a great read and I definitely recommend it to anybody curious about why we do what we do and why we make mistakes.
My only quarrel about the audio, is that it diverts from the book several times leaving you lost and confused. But still make sure you have paper/electronic copy as the author refers to images and figures in the book.
So its got some good info in it but as a social worker who works day to day with people in distress I can assure you that it is not as simple as it is spelled out here, which is rather mechanical. Good information, but the human brain is not nearly as neatly packaged as the writer would like us to believe.
The author needs to spend more time out of the lab.
So you feel really confident that you made the right decision? Chances are the greater your confidence, the more likely you are wrong!
That's just one way that Daniel Kahneman will poke holes in your belief that you make good decisions. He leads us on the path of decision-making, exposing thinking traps one at a time. For example, it seems that we usually prefer intuitive coherent stories to complicated statistics. We avoid information that would lead us to be less optimistic as we start new businesses. We throw good money after bad in order to avoid regret. We put a higher price tag on a bottle of wine or a mug if we own it than if we want to buy it. Because of our aversion to loss, we consider our current work benefits to be entitlements and will fight tooth-and-nail to keep them.
A good reading of this book could save the reader money and anguish as well as shedding some light on the irrationalities of national politics and economics. He explains, for example, when homes have an equivalent market value, those who paid a higher price to own it now hang on hoping to get a higher price than those who bought at a lower price (and not merely because they still hold a larger mortgage). In negotiating union contracts or health care policies, every agreement involves concessions--and even though the contract or bill on the table is better than any prior agreement, the minority who feel they are making concessions will scream louder than the majority that is benefitting.
I love the way Kahneman engages the reader by including narratives about how these ideas and research developed. It is touching to see how much credit he gives his collaborator Tversky and even his detractors! He also offers some memorable tales to illustrate some ideas, as in the case of the flight instructor who refused to accept the concept of regression to the mean. How I'd love to have him at my side when I challenge someone else's decisions!
This is the first time I've heard Patrick Egan read--and I'd give him 5 stars for expressiveness. His performance makes the book more comprehensible than reading it would--at least for me.
.. . when you are ready to stop fooling yourself!
I can't believe what I heard from this book. First off, the first 6 hours of this 20 hour book only taught me cheap mind tricks (ie. The ball and bat price comparison).
About half way through the book Mr. Kahneman finally gets to preach his main thesis: Every experience we learn in life is false. We're just confusing correlation with causation.
Mr Kahneman even goes so far to call out Jim Collin's "Built to Last" to only be good for being a doorstop. That Collins just came up with reasons for a company's success in hindsight. According to Mr. Kahneman, when a company has a good year, we look to the newly placed CEO as the cause for the success, but in reality it was just abnormal amount of luck the company enjoyed and they soon will regress to the mean (everything in life is in balance, and whether you do really good or bad, you'll not be able to sustain and eventually will end up on par).
Ironically, Collins' latest book "Great by Choice" covers the subject of luck, and explains how there are unprecedented and uncontrolable variables in life, but we all have the capacity to take the necessary steps beforehand that can allow us to take advantage of the positive variables, and undercutting the giant negative variables (review the story of the mountain climbers accident in Great by Choice).
Kahneman is trying to prove to us that life is all about statistics. Intuition is just mirage. When a Venture Capitalist is having to decide on whether to invest into a certain startup, he should solely rely on the statistical probability of the startup's success, and not on any experience or market data or connections that may be present.
The way I interpret that information is that if its all about statistics, then if I'm going to start a business, all I have to do is look at my statistical probability of success (lets just say its really low like 13%). I then start 10 businesses, and I don't give a crap about my team's talent level, my customers' opinions, or do any product research. I just sit back and wait, since statistics would show that 1 of those will grow to be successful and I'll soon be able to recoup the losses of the other 9.
This book was described as Mr Kahneman's entrance to providing the general public with knowledge from his Nobel winning mind and experience. But instead it just leaves us with questions. This isn't an essay amongst his peers to provide further clues to unlocking the mysteries of the human mind, this was supposed to help us!
If I can summarize all my frustration in a single sentence, it would be this:
Daniel Kahneman did not give me any directly applicable information to improve my life.
I've focused my current reading on behavioral psychology to minimize waste in my life, whether that be bad habits, building good habits, connecting with other people, cultivating creativity, overcoming fears, or mainly reducing inefficiency. I didn't receive that from this book. It is very disappointing, since the last time I read a book by a Nobel Laureate it greatly impacted my life, and that was Dr. Muhammad Yunus, he took his decades of world-changing experience and packaged that in a way that educated, motivated, and equiped readers to change the world.
Asymmetric loss relative to gain is an important principal to try and understand. It is has been shown that we feel losses stronger than gains. The way that this concept was expressed provided some great insight into the everyday struggle to maintain ones place in the world. Many other insights were shared in this remarkable book, your time and attention is rewarded with good ideas and clear writing.
A narrator who wasn't so monotone. I will buy this book and read it. Every time I listen to it I get very sleepy. Now I just play it at night and I'm sleeping within 1/2 an hour. It's my sleep aid.
You had to force your self to focus on what he was saying rather than how he was saying it. He read the book in a very snobby, upper crust kind of tone which just made me want to sleep. I tried to listen while driving, but concluded that it was unsafe (seriously, wanted to sleep while driving).
The topic was interesting and insightful. I can't finish listening to it, I will buy the print version and read it because I found it inspirational. By understanding how we think and make decisions, I think we can change some of our unwanted habits.
I like his approach of using 'system 1' and 'system 2' for referring to 'parts' of the brain. This makes a lot of sense, as I've let my 'system 1' make decisions that my 'system 2' should have made. He supports his theory with tons of research and testing. I think it a great listen. I found that I did the whole book during my commute, and checked out the PDF after hearing references to it, when I was at work or at home. There were times where he referred to large lists of material, that would have been better listed in the PDF, but those were very few. Overall, I enjoyed learning more about how my brain works.
3 Men & Me
Sometimes this gets to be a little monotonous, but there are plenty of examples to describe how the two systems of thinking occurs and how they work - both as independent brains as well as interdependent brains.
Kahneman explains the leading edge research in simple and beautiful language.
The narration is simply excellent and the feeling is that Kahneman himself reads the book (and enjoys every moment).
I had a lot of fund and learned a lot and it is comforting to see that psychology is finally getting in touch with reality.