The book's main thesis is that of a dichotomy between two modes of thought: "System 1" is fast, instinctive and emotional; "System 2" is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The book delineates rational and non-rational motivations or triggers associated with each type of thinking process, and how they complement each other, starting with Kahneman's own research on loss aversion. From framing choices to people's tendency to replace a difficult question with one which is easy to answer, the book summarizes several decades of research to suggest that people have too much confidence in human judgement. Kahneman performed his own research, often in collaboration with Amos Tversky, which enriched his experience to write the book. It covers different phases of his career: his early work concerning cognitive biases, his work on prospect theory and happiness, and with the Israel Defense Forces.
In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?
Two systems drive the way we think and make choices, Kahneman explains: System One is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System Two is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Examining how both systems function within the mind, Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities as well as the biases of fast thinking and the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and our choices. Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, he shows where we can trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking, contrasting the two-system view of the mind with the standard model of the rational economic agent.
Don't feel bad if that problem stumped you. It's designed to exploit gaps in System 1 thinking. By drawing your eye to the quick succession of 5s, you naturally look to make the same connection in the solution. It's only through the slower, more deliberate thinking involved with System 2 that brings the correct answer into focus.
System 1 is in charge of almost everything we do. Most of everything we do is skilled, and skilled activities are largely carried out effortlessly and automatically. That even includes routine conversation; it's very low effort. So System 1 is a marvel, with some flaws. System 2 is slow and clunky but capable of performing complicated actions that System 1 cannot carry out.
When the stakes are very high, I might stop myself. For example, when someone asks me for an opinion and I'm in a professional role, and I know that they are going to act on my opinion or take it very seriously, then I slow down. But I make very rash judgments all the time. I will make a long-term political prediction, then a little voice will remind me, "but you've written that long-term political predictions are nonsensical." But you know, I'll just go on making it, because it seems true and real at the time I'm making it. And that's the WYSIATI part of it. I can't see why it wouldn't be true.
Well, it's very difficult for people to overcome their biases. Organizations by their very nature think slowly, and they have an opportunity to set machinery in place to think better. I'm not terribly optimistic about that either; I'm not generally known for optimism. But one could imagine an organization deciding to improve its decision-making, and we have some ideas about what it might do to do that.
Scientists love to divide human thinking into two parts: right brain vs. left brain, rational vs. emotional, conscious vs. subconscious, and no doubt many others. Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, proposes a simple split to explain much of human behavior: fast vs. slow. He makes it clear that this is an artificial construct, but at the same time draws upon decades of research to demonstrate its utility.
You have to be both, slow and aware when making the big decisions but being impulsive and quick witted is what makes life interesting when its not a do or die situation. Sounds like a great read. Nice review as well, by the way.
This book succeeds in instilling an awareness of the many biases and heuristics that lead to errors of judgments and poor decision-making. It should be made required reading for anyone; economists, libertarians, or whoever, who still holds fast to the notion that people make decisions rationally. Above all, Thinking, Fast and Slow is a highly enjoyable and informative read for anyone wanting insight into the human mind.
The author explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; it operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control. System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. It allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it.
In this work the author, a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology that challenged the rational model of judgment and decision making, has brought together his many years of research and thinking in one book. The author aims to introduce into everyday conversations a better understanding of the nature of and the systematic errors in our judgment, choice, and behavior. The author explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; it operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control. System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. It allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it. The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concentration. When we think of ourselves, we identify with System 2, the conscious, reasoning self that has beliefs, makes choices, and decides what to think about and what to do. Although System 2 believes itself to be where the action is, the automatic System 1 is the hero of the book. This makes our general impression of human beings as rational actors, especially as prevalent in economics but more broadly public discourse, here at odds with reality.
People frequently engage in lazy thinking, putting too much faith and confidence in their intuition, and avoiding use of System 2 thinking. They find cognitive effort somewhat unpleasant and avoid it as much as possible. However, these tendencies vary among individuals, and can be changed as a result of deliberate education and effort, especially since they are in part dependent on motivation, of a lack of desire to try hard enough. Those who avoid intellectual laziness could be called more engaged, rational thinkers, being more alert, more intellectually active, less willing to be satisfied with superficially attractive answers, and are more skeptical about their intuitions. One psychologist, Keith Stanovich, draws a distinction between two parts of System 2. One deals with slow and effortful thinking and demanding computation. Some people are better than others in this task, they are the individuals work cell in intelligence tests and are able to switch quickly and efficiently from one task to another. Yet such high intelligence does not make people immune to biases. Another ability is involved, what that psychologist labelled rationality and what Kahneman terms being engaged, which is distinct from intelligence as such.
oRecognizing this can be helpful for me in analyzing myself and my patterns of behavior. If my System 2 prefers laziness, then this helps explain why I make cognitive errors in my thinking and engage in habitual patterns of thought and behavior. Knowing this can help motivate me to engage in more thorough System 2 thinking, to put more effort into this area, to find meaning and purpose in doing so, to make it more of a priority in my life.
oThe distinction between intelligence and rationality should be something I keep in mind. Intelligent people, people who are capable of engaging in extensive and systematic deep thoughts and complex analysis, are still not necessarily going to be rational. They may well be satisfied by superficially attractive answers, engage in emotional thinking, not be skeptical about their intuitions, accept arguments and evidence that is unsound if it supports their beliefs, and engage in other types of cognitive errors. Similarly, people who are rational may not be highly intelligent, in the sense of finding it difficult to engage in extensive and systematic deep thoughts and complex analysis. Of course, intelligence and rationality are more often in tune than not, with intelligent people being more rational and rational people being more intelligent.
oThe author has too skeptical a notion of lazy thinking, I believe. I am more optimistic that rationality and engaged, mindful thinking is something that can be taught. Indeed, I see one of my goals in life as improving the critical thinking of my students and the broader public, and critical thinking overlaps greatly with rationality. Intelligence is also something that can be taught and improved, I believe, and is a component of critical thinking, although to a lesser extent than rationality. Intelligence, in the sense of deep thought and complex analysis, is certainly something that students gain from education, especially in college.
Psychologists have demonstrated that the human brain uses shortcuts to perform the rapid decisions we need to navigate life. We must constantly make decisions in the absence of adequate information. To do otherwise would result in paralysis. The psychologists Stanovich and West described two modes of human decision making.2 The first, which they termed System 1, allows rapid, automatic, unconscious decision making. It requires little energy or attention but is prone to bias and systemic error. It is efficient and allows us to make rapid decisions with minimal information. Good examples are walking on a sidewalk or driving a car, activities that require little active thought or conscious effort. System 1 is easy and fast. 2b1af7f3a8