Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow

by Daniel Kahneman
4.2 165


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Thinking, Fast and Slow 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 165 reviews.
StudentoftheBuddha More than 1 year ago
I've read a number of books that touched upon subject matter similar to this one - Taleb's "Fooled by Randomness" and the "Drunkard's Walk" by Mlodinow. Those books cite Kahneman's research as source material, and so I was quite excited to read this book by a giant in this field of research. Overall, I think this is an exceptionally readable and thorough treatment of frequent cognitive errors that people make. Even though I'd read the other two books, I still found this one to be very interesting, especially for the system 1/2 model that Kahneman puts forth. He also reinforces the material on a regular basis, so hopefully, it will be sticky and memorable. Although Kahneman is an academic, I think this book will be readable and accessible to a wide audience. So I would give him high marks for that. The only thing I am struggling with is a despair that I will never be able to overcome the shortcomings of my hardware... And oh yeah, this is a long book, but I guess you get your money's worth!
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
The topics that Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman addresses are both complex and integral to the human mind: He asks you to think about thinking by considering how your mind habitually contradicts itself, distorts data and misleads you. His prose is lucid, his reasoning rigorous and his honesty refreshing – more than once Kahneman illustrates conflicted thinking with examples from his own life. The result is a fairly slow read, but an ultimately rewarding experience. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone interested in neuroscience and neuroeconomics, and to all those who want to improve their thinking about thinking.
popscipopulizer More than 1 year ago
*A full executive summary of this book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com. The adage ‘you are what you eat’ is no doubt literally true, but when it comes to getting at the heart of what we are it is certainly more accurate to say ‘you are what you think’; for our identity emerges out of the life of the mind, and our decisions and actions (including what we eat) is determined by our thoughts. An exploration of how we think therefore cuts to the core of what we are, and offers a clear path to gaining a better understanding of ourselves and why we behave as we do. In addition, while many of us are fairly happy with how our mind works, few of us would say that we could not afford to improve here at least in some respects; and therefore, an exploration of how we think also promises to point the way towards fruitful self-improvement (which stands to help us both in our personal and professional lives). While thinking about thinking was traditionally a speculative practice (embarked upon by philosophers and economists) it has recently received a more empirical treatment through the disciplines of psychology and neuroscience. It is from the latter angle that the Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman approaches the subject in his new book 'Thinking, Fast and Slow'. As the title would suggest, Kahneman breaks down thinking into 2 modes or systems. Slow thinking is the system that we normally think of as thought in the strictest sense. It is deliberate and conscious, and we naturally feel as though we are in control of it (Kahneman refers to it as system 2). System 2 is in play when we actively consider what we want to have for dinner tonight, or when we choose what stocks to buy, or when we perform a mathematical calculation. System 1, by contrast, is automatic and unconscious, and hums along continuously in the background. It constantly surveys the environment, and processes the incoming stimuli with razor speed. The impressions of system 1 are fairly effective in protecting us from moment to moment, but they are much less effective in long-term planning; and therefore, they are much more problematic here. Of course, system 2 is capable of overriding the impressions of system 1, and of avoiding the errors. However, as Kahneman points out, system 2 is often completely unaware that it is being influenced (and misled) by system 1; and therefore, is not naturally well-equipped to catch the errors. Much of the book is spent exploring the activities and biases of system 1, in order to make us more aware of how this system works and how it influences (and often misleads) system 2. This is only half the battle, though, for while system 2 may be naturally poorly equipped to catch the errors of system 1, it is also often poorly equipped to correct these errors. Indeed, Kahneman argues that system 2 is simply not a paragon of rationality, and could stand to use a good deal of help in this regard. This is another major concern of the book. Kahneman does a very good job of breaking down the workings of the mind, and presenting his findings in a very readable way. My only objection to the book is that the arguments are sometimes drawn out much more than needed, and there is a fair bit of repetition. A full executive summary of the book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com; a podcast discussion of the book will be available shortly thereafter.
nycityeast More than 1 year ago
#1 nonfiction book ever written, wisdom-learned information is beyond words, perhaps the best book I have ever read. Highly recognized, acclaimed, which is good, this book deserves it all, best book I have ever read in my life. Highly -- Highly -- Highly recommended! Best money I have ever spent on a book! Fresh, brand new perspective on life! Excellent, excellent, book! Five-star book!
samcivy More than 1 year ago
Thinking Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman © 2011 Farrer, Straus and Giroux, NY ISBN 978-0-374-27563-1 (alk.paper) Hdbk.) 418 pp. plus appendices Dr. Kahneman presents research that examines two systems in human brains that he calls System one and System two. System one is fast, intuitive and decides based on observable points and from memory. System two thinks logically and slower, but is lazy and often accepts what System one presents. This results in biases and decisions not supported by accurate evidence. This author hopes that readers of his book will learn to think more clearly through understanding the research and ideas he presents. The book is not one to read quickly but is well written and informative. Probably human brains have more than two systems that control our thinking, but scientists often research basic processes thoroughly before studying more complex issues. That seems to be the case with Thinking Fast and Slow.
aPatriot More than 1 year ago
I'm an economist, so there wasn't much new for me in this book. I did not care for the games and gimmicks, such as invitations to repeat his experiments and talking points at the end of each chapter, but both can be skipped easily. I did not find the System 1 and 2 (fast and slow) scheme very enlightening. I kept thinking about Freakonomics - another attempt to mass-market economic insights - and almost quit before reaching Part II. I'm glad I kept going, because the last half of the book was much better. Readers with advanced knowledge of economics may be disappointed. However, I would recommend this book to non-economists because it exposes numerous flaws in our intuition.
EddieGreen More than 1 year ago
#1, best nonfiction book ever written. Awarded for superior content, with awards...a must have for intelligent people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would have enjoyed it more had the editor streamlined it better. I have never thought of myself as being from the TV generation...but i was (am, actually, as I haven't yet gotten through the book in its entierity) a bit bored. The author seems mired in a thought that could have been more easily portrayed by a (ghost) writer (v scientist). As a teacher he would have found this student skipping class to catch some zzz's. It's compelling thought with a clunky delivery. So, it's taking me longer than other nonfiction (of similar genera). Good concepts though. I will power through to the conclusion, but it will take some time.
PinkyPJ More than 1 year ago
This book gives a great deal of insight into the problems we're having in America today. It rates high on my must read list.
billysixstring More than 1 year ago
Overall I liked this book. It gave me a lot to think about with regards to how I think - my (our) biases, the heuristics I (we) use, how I (we) think about the past, etc. The only quibble I have is that it gets slow in the second half. However, it does end strong with the "Two Selves" concept (the experiencing self vs. the remembering self).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Took me forever to finish but a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best nonfiction book I have read in my whole life. Best nonfiction content in a book written. Very interesting content. High quality content, genius writing, very highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to read more about our body and all the "stuff" inside it. It could get me a head start on science which I really love. Hope more books can be realeased. From 11 yr. old kid
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just excellent. Everyone should read this. Not always simple, but it would make our communal dialogue more enlightened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a book with a number of new insights into our thought processes. I will be reading and rereading part of it frequently.
watkd25 More than 1 year ago
This book is outstanding. I am glad I read this book because I can apply the information within it to my daily life and also because things in life are not what they appear to be.
Anonymous 5 months ago
AmaZing book good as an audio too
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Daniel portrays the mind in a new and interesting way
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very Interesting -- but kind of slow/dry. You'll enjoy it when you read it, but it isn't a book you "can't put down"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Foster22J More than 1 year ago
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is an in depth survey of metacognitive processes that provides vivid examples and in depth scenarios to explain the complex ideas of the way the brain works. Kahneman introduces the text by explaining that he and his fellow researchers wanted to prompt “water cooler discussions;” however, the topics introduced in the text are likely too advanced for the superficial chit chat that typically occurs in this type of setting. Kahneman validates his hypotheses on metacognition with a vast myriad of both well and lesser known psychological studies, focusing the majority of the text on the two system model of the mind: system one, the reflexive fast thinking system and system two, the effortful, slower monitor of system one that attempts to maintain control with its limited resources. He provides examples ranging from the well-known “Gorilla Study” focusing on perception, to anecdotes of his own experiences teaching Israeli fighter pilots. Toward the end of the book two species, the fictionalized Econs, who live in the land of theory, and the Humans, who live in the real world, are also introduced. Finally, Kahneman concludes with the introduction of the two selves: the experiencing self- the one that does the living- and the remembering self- the one who writes the stories and makes choices based on those memories. Overall, the book is an in depth look at the way we think, the way we think about thinking and the way we discuss our thinking. While likely too advanced for a water cooler discussion, it is a worthy and weighty read that concludes with what most of us know and concede: we can trust neither our perceptions nor our intuitions, but there are methods of preventing many of the cognitive snafus that often get us into trouble.
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