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.
©2011 Daniel Kahneman (P)2011 Random House Audio
“A tour de force. . . Kahneman’s book is a must read for anyone interested in either human behavior or investing. He clearly shows that while we like to think of ourselves as rational in our decision making, the truth is we are subject to many biases. At least being aware of them will give you a better chance of avoiding them, or at least making fewer of them.” (Larry Swedroe, CBS News)
“A major intellectual event . . . The work of Kahneman and Tversky was a crucial pivot point in the way we see ourselves.” (David Brooks, The New York Times)
“[Thinking, Fast and Slow] is wonderful, of course. To anyone with the slightest interest in the workings of his own mind, it is so rich and fascinating that any summary would seem absurd.” (Michael Lewis, Vanity Fair)
Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?
"Thinking, Fast and Slow" is not a good book for audio just because the print version would be easier to follow. There are too many references and examples in the pdf to follow and after a while, you get lost in Professor Kahneman's lecture. There is no way to jot down notes and reference back of what you listened to.
Imagine taking a math class, but instead of visualizing the problem and working it out on paper, the math equations is spoken to you and there is no way to solve the problem with a pencil and paper. You can't go back and use an eraser to correct your mistakes.
Thinking, Fast and Slow is a hard concept for audio. I would have fail the midterm from what I've just listened to. Stick with the print version on this one. Even the ebook would be hard to follow because Daniel Kahneman has so many concepts in his book that you should take notes or else you are just napping in his class.
This book had an incredible amount of interesting material! There are so many interesting ways our minds are tricked by ourselves and the influences on us!
The only downside was it started to feel kind of repetitive because there is a lot of discussion of studies done. There really isn't much progression to the "story" of this work -- at least coming from the perspective of someone fascinated by brain development but nowhere near working in that field of study. I had to take a break from it and listen to something a little more... gripping.
I still highly recommend it for someone who is interested in this topic and the related books Daniel Kahneman is said to have influenced.
how to you win the nobel prize in economics ?
you'd think that it would help to be an economist
not so if you're as wise and smart as dan kahneman
can you deflate a theory that has been around for 2 centuries ?
if you do, you might expect some push back and a few enemies
dan kahneman is more than up to the task in his great book
the text is often dense and didactic and academic
it's built to survive the scrutiny of his enemies
he wants to tell you the truth more than make you laugh
people are relentlessly complex,feeble and paradoxical
dan kahneman's life taught him this at an early age
he then applied that wisdom to experimental psychology
all the jargon and descriptions of experiments can be a bit much
cognitive / thoughtful VS. intuitive / perceptive
remembering self VS. experiencing self
slow / effortful VS. fast / automatic
type 2 thinking VS. type 1 thinking
what you don't know VS. what you can see
cognitive strain VS. cognitive ease
lately m. gladwell et. al. have ripped off kahneman's ideas
my bet is that this doesn't bother him too much
he's more focused on the truth and what makes him happy
it takes some type 2 thinking to get through this book
the strain however is more that worth it
the text will likely be the foundation of our policies and lives
G.B. Shaw "... if you are going to tell people the truth - you
better make them laugh - otherwise they will kill you ..."
Keats Concept of Negative Capability "... man is capable of
being in uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts without any
irritable reaching after facts and reason ..."
Family father, neuroscientist, and non-fiction addict.
Tversky and Kahneman are, without a doubt, two of the most influential psychologists, all categories. Their simple, yet careful and creative experiments revealed how our decision processes are biased in systematic ways. Their research was deservedly awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. In this book, Kahneman summarizes and puts into context his work in a way that only someone who did the research could. Though I was quite familiar with Kahneman's work before reading this book, I learned many new interesting details. Sometimes when reading a long book about something you are interested in, your interest can wane. This book did the opposite. After having read the book, I am even more fascinated by the research described and how it impacts our lives (and it does).
Throughout the book, Kahneman uses the terms "system one and system two". System one is essentially our intuition or gut feeling. It govern most of our decisions and, in general, does a good job, even though it is prone to some biases (which Kahneman and Tversky have been exploring in their careers). System two, on the other hand, is like the sidekick in a movie who thinks she is the star of the movie. Or to use another metaphor I heard from David Eagleman: system two is like the government of a country. It takes credit for all the things that happen in the country, even though the government itself don’t do that much.
In other words, system one sits comfortably in the driving seat for most of our lives. We rely on our gut feelings even when we really shouldn't. System one evaluates arguments and questions in a very lazy way. An argument that sounds good or is presented by a good looking person is probably correct. If you have heard the argument before (even if it was rebutted), it is also probably correct. If the argument is consistent with one memorable episode in your life, then that is a strong argument in its favor (never mind the ten events that contradicted the argument). How you feel also matters a great deal when making decisions using system one. If you feel cranky and hungry, there is just no way that an argument can win you over, but after lunch most arguments suddenly appear much sounder and logical (judges who had just eaten lunch were much more likely to grant parole, than they were just before lunch).
Still sometimes system one gets stuck, and that is when system two comes in. System two requires focused attention. Therefore, it can only do one thing at a time. System two is also more scrutinizing, so if you want to prevent people from fact checking your arguments - do not make them overly complicated because that will just trigger system two - instead make it short, readable, and appealing to the emotions. If you do this, system one might swallow the message and system two won’t know what happened.
These are just some examples of how we work. Read this book and I promise that you will gain much insight into how people work and how they evaluate ideas. You will, of course, learn about all the systematic biases that people, most likely including yourself, employs on a daily basis (confirmation bias, representative bias, availability heuristic, regression to the mean, etc.). Thus, this book, unlike many self-help books, will teach you about yourself and in extension make you more aware of when you might fall into a trap
I am trying to come up with something negative or even just modestly critical to say about this book, but I can’t. It really is an excellent book with content that I believe should be taught in every classroom in the world. Don’t miss it.
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” - Albert Einstein
I have read/listened to a handful of books about judgment, decision-making, behavioral economics, and cognitive psychology. Now I have found "The Source"
Daniel Kahneman practically invented those areas of research and after getting a Nobel prize for doing so, he finally decided to write for the ordinary person in a very understandable and enjoyable manner.
Satisfaction guaranteed :)
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
Yes. there was just so many things packed into this book. I actually bought the print copy so I could ake notes in the margin. I will listen to it again to squeeze out even more jewels.
You must listen to the book and then refer to the diagrams. It takes relection.
Clearly one of the top non-fiction works of the time.
I think the audio version is excellent. You definitely have to re-listen to sections from time to time, as you think through things, and the diagrams need to be accessed via the PDF. Not a big problem, since there are only a dozen or so.
Excellent presentation of the way the mind grapples with the world – where it cuts corners, when that is good, when it is bad.
No, definitely not.
He defines two types of thinking. Fast thinking is our intuition. We use it most of the time and it works well most of the time. It doesn’t take any energy. He calls it “System 1."
Slow thinking is doing complicated math problems, or reading and analyzing data to come to a conclusion. He calls it “System 2.” Slow thinking takes energy. It uses glucose. People with less glucose (sugar) in their system aren’t able to think in System 2 as well as when they have glucose in them. Using willpower for one activity uses glucose, leaving less energy for other System 2 activities.
There were many examples and results of studies which amazed me. I learned that when something is really important, do not trust my intuition (system 1 thinking) - spend some time supplementing it with system 2.
Now here’s the bad part:
I listened to this as an audiobook. My mind wandered a lot. I wasn’t paying attention for probably a fourth of the book. The first half was the best. The last half or third seemed to be mostly probability and statistics. For example, if you are here would you choose A or B? But if you are there, your choice would be different. My mind wandered a lot during those parts. But still, I got much out of this book. I think it might be better read as a physical book than listened to, so the mind wouldn’t wander as much. It’s like a textbook. It will take System 2 energy to read and understand everything.
I bought the audiobook from audible which provided a pdf file. That was good because the author referred to the pdf pictures.
Writing Book Reviews:
When watching a play or reading a book, we might feel one way (A) during 90% of the story and feel differently (B) during the last several minutes. Our rating of the book will be mostly the (B) feelings - as if we forgot about (A) feelings. One of the tests related to this was done with pain. The left arm was in ice water for 20 minutes with the final 5 minutes in slightly warmer water with less pain. Then the right arm was in ice water for 10 minutes with full pain at the end. Afterwards the subjects were told to retake the test and they could choose which arm to test. They chose to do the left arm, because they remembered less pain. The left arm had suffered more pain in total - the 20 minutes. (I may have the minutes wrong, but you get the idea.)
Statistics about marriage really stuck with me - surprised me. The last picture in the pdf file shows the results of a survey of respondents who were asked about their satisfaction with life (SL). They were asked this every year during a 9 year period that had marriage in the middle. 4 years before they married SL was 3. It started increasing 2 years before marriage and was 6 at the time of marriage. 5 years after marriage it dropped to 2.
Judges were asked to impose a sentence on a woman for shoplifting. Shortly before they decided, the number 3 or 9 was shown to them from a dice roll. Judges who saw the 9, sentenced the woman to 8 months. Judges who saw the 3 sentenced her to 5 months. (The months are averages.)
Influencing Parole Boards:
More prison inmates were given parole when their case was decided right after the judges had eaten food.
The author is a psychologist but received a Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in prospect theory, about how people make decisions.
Patrick Egan did a great job.
Genre: psychology, economics, nonfiction.
Posted as one of the best books of 2011, Thinking Fast and Slow explores the working of the mind on two levels; System 1 – fast and intuitive and System 2 deliberate. Along the way, Daniel Kahneman summarizes and explains the literature related on thought and decision making. He certainly covers a lot of material. Insights jump out on page. I particularly found sections on human judgment, anchoring, and the relationship between emotion and evaluation of risk very interesting and helpful. His explanations for intuitive behavior and regression to the mean are exceptional. That said, the novice to this literature will not get lost for Kahneman carries the reader along almost effortlessly. There is much for the reader to learn here. The narration of Patrick Egan is excellent.
I would strongly recommend this book because it forces one to look at our own decision-making. It provides a framework to understand rational and non-rational decisions. We are capable of both, but we need to nudge ourselves in the direction of more rational decisions.
Some of the examples of research that shows how non-rational we can be even when being told of our errors.
Characters are not part of this book.
I would have liked to gone on a little longer at times. When I got home from work, I wanted to keep listening and sometimes set in the car because there was a point or idea being clarified.or finished.
Read it or listen to it. I may buy the print copy so I can use some parts in a class with students.
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