Thinking Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman

Number of pages: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

BBB Library: Psychology and Strengths, Personal Success

ISBN: 9780374275631

About the Author

Kahneman is Eugene Higgins professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University and Professor of Psy-chology and Public Affairs Emeritus at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering work with Amos Tversky on decision making.


Editorial Review

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives-and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.`

Book Reviews

"By the time I got to the end of Thinking, Fast and Slow, my skeptical frown had long since given way to a grin of intellectual satisfaction. Appraising the book by the peak-end rule, I overconfidently urge everyone to buy and read it." New York Times

"It is an outstanding book, distinguished by beauty and clarity of detail, precision of presentation and gentleness of manner." The Guardian

"One book would describe the broad psychology underlying the judgment and decision-making field. A second book would provide a contemporary history of the field through the eyes of its leading scholar." Psychological Science

"Thinking, Fast and Slow is different. It is almost defiantly focused on the science, with a leavening of memoir and personal observation." aThe Wall Street Journal

"Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman’s new and most accessible book, contains much that is familiar to those who have followed this debate within the world of economics, but it also has a lot to say about how we think, react, and reach—rather, jump to—conclusions in all spheres." Bloomberg Business

"Kahneman dislikes the word “irrationality” and one of the signal strengths of Thinking, Fast and Slow is to combine the positive and negative views of intuition into one coherent story." Financial Time

"There's little in Thinking, Fast and Slow that hasn't been said before, in books and journals and lots of magazine articles. It doesn't matter, though. One of the new book's lessons is that familiarity is easy." Slate

"This book succeeds in instilling an awareness of the many biases and heuristics that lead to errors of judgments and poor decision-making."London School of Economics and Political Science

"If you want to know what goes on in your brain as you “think”, and you can only read one of the flood of recent books on the subject, you can not do better than Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow." Big Think

"Having sold over a million copies, it’s been described as a “masterpiece” and a “landmark book in social thought”, while Kahneman himself has been called the “most important psychologist alive”." Telegraph

"Kahneman’s book is based on several decades of research by himself and other social scientists. It focuses on the contrast between two ways of perceiving reality and thinking about what we think we see. Those modes of cognition can be simultaneous or overlapping." Dailykos

I cannot stress enough that Thinking, Fast and Slow is the best of the lot and should be in the library of anyone interested in how the mind works. Definitely worth reading! It is insightful and intellectual, well-written, and an enjoyable read—a desert island book for me.

"Daniel Kahneman demonstrates forcefully in his new book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, how easy it is for humans to swerve away from rationality, how our hard-wired biases lead us time and again to make dumb (or, more politely) unreasonable choices." The Washigton Post

"The insights of Kahneman and Freud are complementary rather than contradictory. Anyone who strives for a complete understanding of human nature has much to learn from both of them." The New York Books

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Wisdom to Share

The confidence that people have in their intuitions is not a reliable guide to their validity. In other words, do not trust anyone ــــ including yourself ــــ to tell you how much you should trust their judgment.

Once you adopt a new view of the world (or of any part of it), you immediately lose much of your ability to recall what you used to believe before your mind changed.

A general limitation of the human mind is its imperfect ability to reconstruct past states of knowledge, or beliefs that have changed.

Learning from surprises is a reasonable thing to do, but it can have some dangerous consequences.

The mind that makes up narratives about the past is a sense-making organ. When an unpredicted event occurs, we immediately adjust our view of the world to accommodate the surprise.

Considering how little we know, the confidence we have in our beliefs is preposterous ــــ and it is also essential.

As cognitive scientists have emphasized in recent years, cognition is embodied; you think with your body, not only with your brain.

Too much concern about how well one is doing in a task sometimes disrupts performance by loading short-term memory with pointless anxious thoughts.

The self-control of morning people is impaired at night; the reverse is true of night people.

People who are cognitively busy are more likely to make selfish choices, use sexist language, and make superficial judgments in social situations.

People who are simultaneously challenged by a demanding cognitive task and by a temptation are more likely to yield to the temptation.

If we must construct an intricate argument under time pressure, we would rather be still, and we would prefer sitting to standing.

We can think while strolling but cannot engage in mental work that imposes a heavy load on short-term memory.

When we think of ourselves, we identify with System 2, the conscious, reasoning self that has beliefs, makes choices, and decides what to think about and what to do.

Valid intuitions develop when experts have learned to recognize familiar elements in a new situation and to act in a manner that is appropriate to it.

Intuition is nothing more and nothing less than recognition.

Our everyday intuitive abilities are no less marvelous than the striking insights of an experienced firefighter or physician—only more common.

The mental work that produces impressions, intuitions, and many decisions goes on in silence in our mind.

Most impressions and thoughts arise in your conscious experience without your knowing how they got there. You cannot trace how you came to the belief that there is a lamp on the desk in front of you, or how you detected a hint of irritation in your spouse’s voice on the telephone, or how you managed to avoid a threat on the road before you became consciously aware of it.