June 14, 2016
Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman is an incisive, academic, cogent, and far-reaching piece of work that should be part of everyone’s library.
Nobel Prize winning Kahneman unleashes a foray into the domain of decision-making, psychology & problem-solving unlike nothing ever seen within this discipline previously. Kahneman is the individual responsible as to why the subject of Behavioral Economics has grown as fast as its grown for quite some time.
Kahneman meticulously tackles many thought-provoking aspects in psychology with scrupulous scientific rigor. This book is the author’s magnum opus, without a doubt.
This relentless journey into the domain of the brain leaves no stone unturned, which is why Kahneman work has become unprecedented to economists and others alike.
The author parses his main idea into two sets. The brain, according to Kahneman, splits things into a binary cognitive system. This is what the author denotes as System 1, and System 2.
System 1 is automatic, emotive, unconscious, responsible for lightning-quick decisions, whilst System 2 is methodical, incisive, conscious, and orderly.
Each system plays its part in shaping the world in how we see it. The book tackles nigh every little crevice available to the author in search for the understanding of the above-mentioned systems, its ramifications, and what we can learn do to learn from each.
However, in interest of full disclosure this is not the quickest book to read, even for avid readers unless one is perhaps hyper interested in the subject matter. The book is also quite repetitive in a few spots. Then again, some people learn better from rereading things a few times, and from different angles, so take that for whats it worth.
Still, the book is chock-full of intriguing data sets and experiments, and the way in which the concepts are discussed, although overly methodical in certain spots, is definitely worth the read.
Kahneman’s journey into the studies discussed attempts to leave no stone unturned in his bid to shed light into the ideas of the illusion of validity, narrow framing, planning fallacies, regression to the mean, the illusion of understanding, the endowment effect, and much, much more.
Ultimately the book seeks to show us how we can trust ourselves – our brain – better, and how to succeed in understanding the various facets that cognitive behavior goes through. Coupled with that, Kahneman also makes it a point to give individuals practical ways in which to hone our mental skill and be able to use System 1 and System 2 in a way that benefits us most.
If you are an individual that is serious about the inner workings of the mind, especially in regards to decision making, the book – although lengthy – will keep you busy pondering many seams from which to draw wisdom from.