Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman,

Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Book description

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and…


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Why read it?

21 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This magnum opus by Nobel laureate psychologist Kahneman distills in easily read language—and with compelling examples—the insights of his epic research. To us psychological scientists, Kahneman is a hero—a fountain of creative research and insights into the powers and perils of human intuition. Kahneman’s explorations of the speedy but error-prone unconscious, automatic mind will be part of psychology’s enduring wisdom for centuries to come.

Thinking, Fast and Slow describes how our brain operates when making decisions, either by carefully weighing all the facts based on knowledge – “thinking slow”, or by making split-second, intuitive decisions – “thinking fast.” For this insight the author got the Nobel memorial prize in Economics. Kahnemann’s results certainly changed the way how I think about intelligent decision-making. A certain skill, for example playing the piano, can move through constant multi-year exercise and practice from a tedious “thinking slow” process to an intuitive and instinctive “thinking fast skill.”

From Peter's list on interspecies communication.

Thinking Fast and Slow is Daniel Kahneman’s distillation of a lifetime’s work into a highly readable volume for general audiences. Kahneman and his late collaborator Amos Tversky, both psychologists, shared the Nobel Prize in Economics for their groundbreaking work that helped establish the field of behavioral economics. In Thinking Fast and Slow, Kahneman tells the story of how we make decisions, and how our reliance on cognitive shortcuts leads to predictable errors. He manages to convey complex ideas in common language without talking down to his readers. It's a must-read for anyone who wants to examine their decision-making principles…

If the study of human irrationality interests you as much as it does me, you’ll love this book! By reading it, you will learn a vast array of principles for explaining how and why people are influenced. The book is a perfect companion to my favorite theory of persuasion—the elaboration likelihood model—which helps us understand that decision-making is not always well thought out, but rather based on a multitude of cognitive shortcuts. 

Kahneman won the Nobel in Economics for his work helping to create the field of behavioural economics – working at the intersection of economics and social psychology to explain how and why real people actually behave in the world, focusing on the systematic thinking biases that lead us to make the suboptimal choices we do. In Thinking Fast and Slow, Kahneman captures a lifetime of work in a fun, fast, and understandable primer that uses stories and illustrations to help readers reflect on how we think (and why). It’s a long one, but provides the best foundation for understanding…

Kahneman’s research on cognitive biases has won a Nobel prize. But how does it relate to contracting and why should you care? Thinking, Fast and Slow highlights the many cognitive biases humans suffer from and why it is important to consciously try to not fall into the traps our brains trick us in. One of the cognitive biases is that people think they are good planners, but no matter how good they are ill-equipped to make good plans because of a variety of reasons such as incomplete information and unbounded rationality. You will be a better person and decision maker…

I recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow because it's essentially the encyclopedia of behaviour science. While it may feel very distant from the technical digital-first world of CRO, the root of how we think, behave, and make decisions as humans (read: users) are universal. More specifically, Kahneman’s theory of System 1 and System 2 thinking is a great lens to view human-computer interaction design through. It should at the very least help you consider your user interfaces and experiences through the lens of your user’s mental state.

This book, driven by research that Kahneman did with his late colleague, Amos Tversky, is an introduction to the fact that much of human thinking is not rational. It is not logic that drives most of your decisions and actions, but a mixture of heuristics and biases. The mind is constituted of two systems, one of them fast, automatic, and largely unconscious, the other, slow, effortful, and demanding of concentration. It is the second one we must invoke when we engage in critical reasoning. But it is extremely easy to give in to the temptation to let system one take…

From Marianne's list on to learn how to argue well better.

This might be the most famous book written in recent years about thinking – and the ways in which we’re all astonishingly vulnerable to various kinds of bias, distortion, and selectivity in our views of the world. But it’s also a book that offers hope in the sheer care with which it synthesizes a lifetime of thought and research. To be human is to be hasty, flawed, and partial; but it’s also to be part of an ongoing collective negotiation with these limitations. This is a foundational text for embarking upon that negotiation, and one that Nobel laureate Kahneman has…

From Tom's list on critical thinking.

What I like about this book is that it deals with big ideas in very plain language, and is packed full of practical experiments and examples. This is all the more remarkable as the book actually started out as a 'post-hippy,' 1970s academic paper, entitled "Belief in the Law of Small Numbers," in which Daniel Kahneman and his lifelong collaborator, Amos Tversky, set out eleven "cognitive illusions" that affect human judgment. The book went on to define a whole new field, which can't be said for everyone! Its weakness is, I think, an insistence that being irrational is bad. Not…

From Martin's list on thinking skills.

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