Thinking, Fast and Slow – a PhD student’s review

The first post on books worth reading features Daniel Kahneman‘s Thinking, Fast and Slow.

book "Thinking, Fast And Slow"
The featured book

What is Thinking, Fast and Slow  about?

Thinking, Fast and Slow summarizes the main research results of its author. He investigated how the human mind works, especially when it comes to imperfections during decision-making.

In the beginning the short descriptions of the so-called system 1 (responsible for fast, effortless thinking) and system 2 (responsible for concentrated and effortful thinking) are introduced. Kahneman also describes some triggers he found for those systems (apparently, blood glucose levels influence the availability of system 2).

The remaining parts do not have such a defined topic as the first part. They focus on prediction fallacies, different biases and the heuristics  which leading there. There are also chapters discussing the differences between Homo economicus and Homo sapiens: For example, for a Homo economicus, the risk aversion does not depend on the prospect of gain or loss. For us as real humans, it is important: Facing a potential loss, we tend to be risk seeking and facing a potential gain, we tend to be risk averse.

The book closes with a print of the original scientific papers. To be honest: I did not read those 80 pages because the small printing made reading quite tiring 😉

So, why is this book worth reading?

This book can change the way how you perceive other people and their actions.  Example tasks show how everybody is prone to biases and imperfect decision-making. If you read of all of those cognitive shortcuts and flaws, you hopefully will be less judging towards the people around you.

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