Thinking, Fast and Slow - book cover
Management & Leadership
  • Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition
  • Published : 02 Apr 2013
  • Pages : 499
  • ISBN-10 : 0374533555
  • ISBN-13 : 9780374533557
  • Language : English

Thinking, Fast and Slow

*Major New York Times Bestseller
*More than 2.6 million copies sold
*One of The New York Times Book Review's ten best books of the year
*Selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of the best nonfiction books of the year
*Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
*Daniel Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky is the subject of Michael Lewis's The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

In his mega bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, world-famous psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think.

System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation?each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives?and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Topping bestseller lists for almost ten years, Thinking, Fast and Slow is a contemporary classic, an essential book that has changed the lives of millions of readers.

Editorial Reviews

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Readers Top Reviews

Certainly the most thought provoking book I've read in a long time, so much so I've written a blog about it's conclusion and the impact on social media. More importantly how people are being manipulated on social media by people using the "techniques" outline in this book. It's not an easy book to read so not one for the beach, but push through and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
For large size buy international edition of this book. Right side book published by FRS.
EtienneDr W. H. Kona
Content is interesting, but as other reviewers point out, do not buy the Kindle version, because links often don't work, and many images and footnotes seem to be lost.
Thesaurus Rex
As others have noted, this book is dense in places, but is tremendously important for decision making from the individual up through public policy. Even if you don't have the patience for all the chapters don't neglect the intro and conclusion. The TL;DR doesn't suffice but. 1) human beings are not pure rational agents, but rather complex interplay of automatic and thoughtful reasoning both of which can be right or wrong 2) maximizing happiness requires recognition of when we are in a cognitive minefield so that we can marshal the appropriate evidence and response 3) maximizing happiness is not even straightforward; it is the complex interplay between experienced and remembered happiness. This book is in my top 10 most influential of my life; highly recommended especially in tandem with Haidt's "Righteous Mind"; these two highly complementary books form a multidimensional mirror for the human condition. Only by seeing ourselves as we *are* can we go about the business of governing ourselves and our world.

Short Excerpt Teaser

Thinking, Fast and SlowBy Daniel KahnemanFarrar, Straus and GirouxCopyright © 2012 Daniel Kahneman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780374533557
THINKING, FAST AND SLOW (Chapter 1)The Characters of the StoryTo observe your mind in automatic mode, glance at the image below.

Figure 1

Your experience as you look at the woman's face seamlessly combines what we normally call seeing and intuitive thinking. As surely and quickly as you saw that the young woman's hair is dark, you knew she is angry. Furthermore, what you saw extended into the future. You sensed that this woman is about to say some very unkind words, probably in a loud and strident voice. A premonition of what she was going to do next came to mind automatically and effortlessly. You did not intend to assess her mood or to anticipate what she might do, and your reaction to the picture did not have the feel of something you did. It just happened to you. It was an instance of fast thinking.

Now look at the following problem:

17 × 24

You knew immediately that this is a multiplication problem, and probably knew that you could solve it, with paper and pencil, if not without. You also had some vague intuitive knowledge of the range of possible results. You would be quick to recognize that both 12,609 and 123 are implausible. Without spending some time on the problem, however, you would not be certain that the answer is not 568. A precise solution did not come to mind, and you felt that you could choose whether or not to engage in the computation. If you have not done so yet, you should attempt the multiplication problem now, completing at least part of it.

You experienced slow thinking as you proceeded through a sequence of steps. You first retrieved from memory the cognitive program for multiplication that you learned in school, then you implemented it. Carrying out the computation was a strain. You felt the burden of holding much material in memory, as you needed to keep track of where you were and of where you were going, while holding on to the intermediate result. The process was mental work: deliberate, effortful, and orderly--a prototype of slow thinking. The computation was not only an event in your mind; your body was also involved. Your muscles tensed up, your blood pressure rose, and your heart rate increased. Someone looking closely at your eyes while you tackled this problem would have seen your pupils dilate. Your pupils contracted back to normal size as soon as you ended your work--when you found the answer (which is 408, by the way) or when you gave up.

Two Systems

Psychologists have been intensely interested for several decades in the two modes of thinking evoked by the picture of the angry woman and by the multiplication problem, and have offered many labels for them. I adopt terms originally proposed by the psychologists Keith Stanovich and Richard West, and will refer to two systems in the mind, System 1 and System 2.

System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control.System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concentration.The labels of System 1 and System 2 are widely used in psychology, but I go further than most in this book, which you can read as a psychodrama with two characters.

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. I describe System 1 as effortlessly originating impressions and feelings that are the main sources of the explicit beliefs and deliberate choices of System 2. The automatic operations of System 1 generate surprisingly complex patterns of ideas, but only the slower System 2 can construct thoughts in an orderly series of steps. I also describe circumstances in which System 2 takes over, overruling the freewheeling impulses and associations of System 1. You will be invited to think of the two systems as agents with their individual abilities, limitations, and functions.

In rough order of complexity, here are some examples of the automatic activities that are attributed to System 1:

Detect that one object is more distant than another.Orient to the source of a sudden sound.