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Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, fast and slow (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Daniel Kahneman

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Title:Thinking, fast and slow
Authors:Daniel Kahneman
Info:New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:work, psychology, decision making, economics

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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
Opportunity cost is one of the key concepts of economics; doing this means you can't do that at the same time, for example. The early part of Thinking, Fast and Slow is about how the brain economizes on the time it spends making decisions. We could engage what Kahneman calls 'System 2', our reasoning framework, for each and every decision, but this would be hugely expensive in terms of opportunity costs. All that time we spent thinking we would not spending just getting on with things. So, in most cases, our brain allocates decision making to 'System 1', our more intuitive decision making system, our gut, which acts on a set of short cuts, heuristics. In this way, the brain has evolved to economize on thinking time.

This can lead to what Kahneman calls 'mistakes' and the rational 'homo economicus' takes yet another kicking here. But his endorsement of 'nudge' policies, designed to move people towards the 'right' decisions, pre-supposes that the people doing the nudging know what these 'right' answers are. This knowledge, of course, has to be discovered.

That said, the incorporation of prospect theory into microeconomics in place of expected utility theory looks to be a growing field of research in the future. ( )
  JohnPhelan | Oct 4, 2016 |
I was prompted to read this for the sole reason that it gets referenced in so many other books. It lived up to the expectation. Kahneman was a pioneer in the space where human psychology confounds traditional economic theory. Now he's a venerable storyteller about that same space. The main point of the book is that the human mind uses two systems of thinking. One is fast, instinctual, and automatic. The other is slow, logical, and conceptual. Much of our behavior and later evaluation of it can be described by how those two systems are used under varying amounts of time pressure. The book is comprised of thirty-eight short chapters covering key concepts like regression to the mean, illusions of validity, and the importance of framing when evaluating options. I found his coverage of prospect theory especially complete and understandable compared to other descriptions I've encountered. ( )
  jpsnow | Oct 1, 2016 |
A must-read for everyone who wants to make wise decisions!
Especially, if decision-making is your job. ( )
  mantvius | Aug 29, 2016 |
I really loved this book. Kahneman provides a brief but extensive introduction to concepts in the psychology of decision making - and how decision making can go wrong.
He discusses various theories and complements them with ample material from research - as well as from his own experience.
The book is an engaging and fun read, often surprising and entertaining, without becoming superficial.

Though it is of course not an extensive treatment of the subject, it is definitely a great introduction, and it gives plenty of notes and references for further exploration of the topic. ( )
  Britt84 | Aug 7, 2016 |
A very important book on the way that people think. It exposes the cognitive biases that we are all prone to, which lead to errors of thinking and choice – many of which are absurd when we become aware of them.
Based on decades of cutting edge research in psychology (by the author, and others in the field), each chapter focuses on a different cognitive bias, which is explained together with the psychological experiments that have helped to expose it. These are not abstract, purely academic biases that are of interest only to psychologists and economists, but many of them affect ordinary people every day. It is fascinating to learn about them and to be able to identify them in our own daily behaviour (and even more entertaining to observe them in others!). One impressive thing is how pervasive these errors in thinking are among society – the author is a professor of psychology and Economics Nobel prize awardee – and he also observes these errors in his colleagues and himself in their ways of thinking, as well as in the general population. It is only by becoming aware of these many different biases that we can be on guard against them and consistently avoid them – making better decisions in the process.
The book starts off by explaining that we have two main modes of thinking: the instinctive, quick to react System 1, which is deployed instantly and without effort; Secondly, the careful, effortful, reasoning System 2. Though these systems don't really exist, between them they are useful in describing the way we think most of the time. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and each can give rise to different congnitive biases.
The various cognitive biases that we learn about in the book relate to many separate areas of research, including pyschological suggestibility, priming, mathematical probability, logic, and statistics. Anyone with a vague interest in how the brain works will find much here to think about. This should be required reading in nearly every subject, as its implications are far reaching and too important to be ignored. It is also incredibly easy to read and quite entertaining in places. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | Aug 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
"It is an astonishingly rich book: lucid, profound, full of intellectual surprises and self-help value. It is consistently entertaining and frequently touching..."
added by melmore | editNew York Times, Jim Holt (Nov 25, 2011)
Thinking, Fast and Slow is nonetheless rife with lessons on how to overcome bias in daily life.

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel Kahnemanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Egan, PatrickReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eivind LilleskjæretTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gunnar NyquistTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Every author, I suppose, has in mind a setting in which readers of his or her work could benefit from having read it.
extreme outcomes (both high and low) are more likely to be found in small than in large samples. This explanation is not causal. The small population of a county neither causes nor prevents cancer; it merely allows the incidence of cancer to be much higher (or much lower) than it is in the larger population. The deeper truth is that there is nothing to explain. The incidence of cancer is not truly lower or higher than normal in a county with a small population, it just appears to be so in a particular year because of an accident of sampling. If we repeat the analysis next year, we will observe the same general pattern of extreme results in the small samples, but the counties where cancer was common last year will not necessarily have a high incidence this year. If this is the case, the differences between dense and rural counties do not really count as facts: they are what scientists call artifacts, observations that are produced entirely by some aspect of the method of research - in this case, by differences in sample size. p 111
Even now, you must exert some mental effort to see that the following two statements mean exactly the same thing: Large samples are more precise than small samples. Small samples yield extreme results more often than large samples do. p 111
When experts and the public disagree on their priorities, [Paul Slovic] says, 'Each side must respect the insights and intelligence of the other.' p 140
You can also take precautions that will inoculate you against regret. Perhaps the most useful is to b explicit about the anticipation of regret. If you can remember when things go badly that you considered the possibility of regret carefully before deciding, you are likely to experience less of it. You should also know that regret and hindsight bias will come together, so anything you can do to preclude hindsight is likely to be helpful. My personal hindsight-avoiding policy is to be either very thorough or completely casual when making a decision with long-term consequences. Hindsight is worse when you think a little, just enough to tell yourself later, 'I almost made a better choice.'     Daniel Gilbert and his colleagues provocatively claim that people generally anticipate more regret than they will actually experience, because they underestimate the efficacy of the psychological defenses they will deploy - which they label the 'psychological immune system.' Their recommendation is that you should not put too much weight on regret; even if you have some, it will hurt less than you now think.p 352
Unless there is an obvious reason to do otherwise, most of us passively accept decision problems as they are framed and therefore rarely have an opportunity to discover the extent to which our preferences are frame-bound rather than reality-bound. p 367
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Le système 1 est rapide , intuitif et émotionel ;le système 2 est plus lent , plus réfléchi , plus controléet plus logique .Fruit d toute une vie de recherche ''Système 1/Système 2" dessine une théorie brillante ,qui offer des prolongements pratiques immédiats dans la vie quotidienne et professionnelle.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374275637, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2011: Drawing on decades of research in psychology that resulted in a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, Daniel Kahneman takes readers on an exploration of what influences thought example by example, sometimes with unlikely word pairs like "vomit and banana." System 1 and System 2, the fast and slow types of thinking, become characters that illustrate the psychology behind things we think we understand but really don't, such as intuition. Kahneman's transparent and careful treatment of his subject has the potential to change how we think, not just about thinking, but about how we live our lives. Thinking, Fast and Slow gives deep--and sometimes frightening--insight about what goes on inside our heads: the psychological basis for reactions, judgments, recognition, choices, conclusions, and much more.  --JoVon Sotak

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:22 -0400)

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Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities and also the faults and biases of fast thinking, and the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on peoples' thoughts and choices.

(summary from another edition)

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