Monday, May 14, 2012

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

This book is incredibly interesting. Each chapter introduces some aspect of how we think and then at the very end of each chapter, he gives examples. For economist to make their theories work depend on human being unemotional and rational and always doing what economist believe is in our own best interest.

Of course the problem with economic theories is that we are not econ beings and a few economists are now trying to take that into account in their theories. The person that wrote this book is not an economist, but a psychologist. Not all economists have yet twigged to the idea that we do not make decisions the way they think we should.

This book is all about how and why we come to the decisions that we do. We have two systems. System 1 is our intuitive system and thinks fast, with no conscious thought. System 2 is slower and monitors System 1 but can be lazy or engaged.

He also talks about our two selves, our experiencing self and our remembering self. Our remembering self only remembers peaks and ends. Like the peak and end of a holiday. If you keep notes during the holiday, you probably would have a different feel for that holiday. This is all very interesting stuff.

There is a very good review of this book at Business Week. The reviewer Roger Lowenstein talks about what he likes and dislikes in this book. In the Globe and Mail review by Janice Gross Stein we are told how brilliant Kahneman and his book is. She says that it is “impossible exaggerate the importance of Daniel Kahneman’s contribution to the understanding of the way we think and choose”. The review in the Financial Times is by William Easterly. He says “There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

There is a very nice short interview by Time Time that lasts just 6 minutes. There is a much longer (1 hours and a half) video of Daniel Kahneman in conversation with Richard Layard loaded by Isewebsite. Kahneman starts talking about 8:40 minutes into this video. There is also a long History and Rationality Lecture Series video of Daniel Kahneman at the Hebrew University. Go in 2:30 minutes and it is in English.

There is a wonderful review of this book at the Association for Psychological Sciencesite. It leads to a great column in the New York Times by Daniel Kahneman. A great deal of what he says here is in this book, so it gives you a good idea what reading this book would be like.

There is another wonderful column on Daniel Kahneman and the writing of this book by Michael Lewis at Vanity Fair.

On my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See Kahneman. Also, this book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Book Reviews.

No comments:

Post a Comment