Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman
By Josh Kaufman
The human mind is an odd contraption. At times, we’re capable of impressive feats of long-range planning and complex calculation, but most of our day-to-day decisions and behaviors are automatic, lightning fast, and emotionally charged. Even on our best days, we’re prone to errors in judgement that can have far-reaching consequences.
Thinking, Fast and Slow is an approachable guide to human cognition and the field of heuristics and biases: how our thinking processes reliably malfunction. By understanding how humans actually gather information, process that information, and make judgements, you can learn to be wary of situations in which you’re likely to misjudge, and take steps to self-correct when possible.
Daniel Kahneman, along with his colleague Amos Tversky, pioneered the field of cognitive heuristics and biases in the late 1970s. Together, they won Nobel prizes in economics for their work on prospect theory, which explains how people make decisions that involve risk of loss. Their work is the foundation for much of the work being done in cognitive psychology and behavioral economics, as well as improvements in marketing and sales strategy.
Kahneman and Tversky’s previous book on this subject, Judgement Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases, was too technical to recommend to Personal MBA readers. Thinking, Fast and Slow makes these essential ideas approachable for non-academic readers.
Understanding how the human mind works gives you a major advantage when making decisions with real-world consequences. Major topics in Thinking, Fast and Slow include probability estimation, overconfidence, anchoring, availability bias, intuition, loss aversion, framing, and the narrative fallacy.
Reading Thinking, Fast and Slow will help you approach your plans and opinions with a greater sense of humility: we’re often not as smart as we think. By appreciating the pitfalls, you’ll make better decisions when it counts.
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