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Thinking, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman

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Thinking, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman Cover

ISBN13: 9780141033570
ISBN10: 0141033576
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Sheila Deeth, March 4, 2014 (view all comments by Sheila Deeth)
If you walk in the woods at night and see a line across the path, might it be a snake? Luckily your System 1 thought process warns you of danger and you stop. Then System 2 takes over, analyses the situation and realizes the line is just a stick. System 1 is fast, and system 2 is slow. And the problem arises when we imagine our system 1 cnoclusion doesn’t need any further thought.

Optical illusions are familiar illustrations of fast and slow thinking. When we’ve been fooled before, we recognize the illusion and immediately jump to looking with system 2. But logical illusions, emotional illusions and cultural illusions can leave us existing in a world that’s not quite as solid and real as we imagine.

Are law courts fair? Are inoculations safe? Is the stock market as risky as the gambling table? And what do advertising and politics have in common? The examples of Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Slow, are simple and easy to understand but pack an intriguing punch. Each could be “framed” with a list of excuses, explaining away the proof. But together they form a convincing argument for conscious thought, for “reframing” the data on which we make decisions, and for practicing logical thinking.

We’d be embarrassed to be fooled by a five-year-old’s optical illusion. We should probably be equally embarrassed to be fooled by our lazy thought processes, but this book offers a chance to catch our errors before they grow. I enjoyed the read---it’s long and fairly dense, but it tells the human story of an investigator, the scientific story of hypothesis and experiment, and the economical story of illogic’s consequences.

Disclosure: We read it for our book group. Some of us were impressed, others less so. But we didn’t divide along subject lines. There were artists and scientists in both camps. I’d recommend you try it for yourself.
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wsjnyt, March 16, 2013 (view all comments by wsjnyt)
#1 nonfiction book ever written. Very well written, excellent wisdom, very entertaining, superb nonfiction book.
Highly recommended, Daniel Kahneman is a genius!
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blueboxconst, August 14, 2012 (view all comments by blueboxconst)
Great book, very well written, but a difficult read- like eating Russian rye bread. I found myself reading 20 pages, thinking for a day or two, re-reading 10 pages plus 10 new, thinking, re-reading, and so on.

The basic premise is that we have 2 modes of thought- fast, jumping to conclusions, and slow, evaluating the available evidence as rationally as possible. The first is good for avoiding tigers- even if you're wrong 9 times out of 10, that tenth time may save your life- makes all the false alarms worth it. The second is better for issues like global climate change. It's not a common style of thought, but has very important uses. Kahneman does his best to school you in how to use each style appropriately- he doesn't dismiss fast thinking- he sees it as very useful for humans and just tries to put it in its proper place and show you how to recognize and use it effectively

Highly recommended if you're willing to invest some time and mental effort.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780141033570
Author:
Kahneman, Daniel
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mind and Consciousness
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

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