Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thinking Fast And Slow” as Want to Read:
Thinking Fast And Slow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Thinking Fast And Slow

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  55,296 ratings  ·  2,650 reviews
Psychologist Daniel Kahneman reveals the truth about our intuitions, and our rationality itself, to teach us how to better our lives. He explores the fascinating flaws and marvels of human behaviour and reveals to us the common errors in people's beliefs.
Hardcover, 499 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Allen Lane (first published January 1st 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Thinking Fast And Slow, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
In the last few years I have had two books that took me FOREVER to get through. The first was Daniel Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" and the second is Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow." What caused this? What do they have in common? Both books explain, in minute detail, simple concepts with immensely far-reaching implications, and both have been... after the slog... the most intellectually rewarding reading of my adult life.

Where to begin... I have a number of theories running around in...more
This is a fascinating book. Reading this book means not having to read so many others. For example, you could avoid having to read, Sway, Blink, Nudge and probably a dozen or so other books on Behavioural Economics. And the best part of it is that this is the guy (or, at least one half of the two guys) who came up with these ideas in the first place.

I was thinking that perhaps the best way to explain those other books would be to compare them to Monty Python. I want you to imagine something - s...more
If your objective is to implement what Mr. Kahneman has to say in real life and benefit from it, I should warn you, you will be sorely disappointed. Believe it or not, in my opinion, I believe Mr. Kahneman is telling you exactly that in this book - that whether you like it or not, your entire life is guided or may I say decided by two fundamental ideas and that there is very little you can do to change it, period.

Mr. Kahneman is probably the villain in every modern day spiritual guru's life, he...more
Jay Kamaladasa
Hands down, one of the best books in its genre.

The book is a lengthy, self-conscious and a challenging read but highly recommended if you're interested in why human beings behave the way they behave. It's given me so much 'oh snap, so that's why we're so dumb' moments that at this point I don't even want to admit I'm a human to any space-time traveling race that comes in collision of 21st century Earth.

Citing behavioral research studies, he's convinced me that human confidence is a measure of w...more
An unrelentingly tedious book that can be summed up as follows. We are irrationally prone to jump to conclusions based on rule-of-thumb shortcuts to actual reasoning, and in reliance on bad evidence, even though we have the capacity to think our way to better conclusions. But we're lazy, so we don't. We don't understand statistics, and if we did, we'd be more cautious in our judgments, and less prone to think highly of our own skill at judging probabilities and outcomes. Life not only is uncerta...more
Apr 29, 2012 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: New York Times
Freeman “Dyson Sphere” Dyson wrote the New York Times review, which has me swooning right there. He was a particularly apt pick because Kahneman helped design the Israeli military screening and training systems back when the country was young, and Dyson at 20 years old cranked statistics for the British Bombing Command in its youth. He was part of a small group that figured out the bombers were wrong about what mattered to surviving night time raids over Germany, a thing only about a quarter of...more
Jan Rice
Whew! Wrestled this one down to the ground. It's got so much in it; I've got all I can for now. I'm leaving it out in the living room for now, though--for refreshers.

The author's aim is to prove to us that we are not rational beings to the extent we think we are, that evolution has seen to that. And that being the case, the book outlines what we need to know so as not to mess up decisions like we have been doing--like we all do.

And he's made it accessible. He pulls you in. You will get your sha...more
Jeff Raymond
Jan 22, 2012 Jeff Raymond marked it as unfinished-reads  ·  review of another edition
My issue with this book, which is one I've tossed aside after 60 pages, is not so much that it's poorly done or that it's hard to understand - in fact, the exact opposite is true.

The issue is that this book is simply more in depth about psychology and psychological processes than I truly have a short-term interest in. This is more the type of book you keep near your desk or bedside, read a 12 page chapter or so, and digest. This may be a book I need to own and do that with as opposed to tear thr...more
Ben Babcock
I kind of want to cut this book in half, praise the first part, and stick the second part in some corner to gather dust. Not that the second part is bad, mind you; the entire book is well-written and obviously the product of someone who knows their field. There’s just a lot of it. Thinking, Fast and Slow is kind of like a guest who shows up to your party and then dazzles everyone with an impromptu, 15-minute oration on the geopolitical situation in South Ossetia; and, everyone applauds and turns...more
Nicholas Sparks
It's a fascinating study of the mind, how people make decisions, and how the decision-making process can be improved.
This book had me laughing and smiling, more than many a book described in its blurb as side-splittingly funny or something similar because I recognised the cognitive disillusions described in this book as my own and in any case I am the kind of person who if they fall into a good mood wonders if it's due to the pint and the pie that was eaten earlier.

In my case the preacher wasn't talking to the choir, but I had been to the church before and enjoyed the services. It doesn't set out to be a new b...more
In "Thinking, fast and slow" the Nobel laureate Danny Kahneman summarizes his life long work mostly done with his collegue (and Nobel corecipient) Amos Tversky in the field of cognitive psychology and decision making.

There has been an outcrop of books on this topic in the recent years (Ariely and Lehrer being the bigger names) and there is a significant overlap with similar books. However, for the seriously interested I'd recommend to start here. This is the original reference, the user manual f...more
Mr. Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner, explores the general subject of how and why we frequently make irrational decisions. We've all seen articles over the years on various aspects of this phenomenon, but I venture to say that never before have the various aspects and permutations been explored in this depth and specificity. Mr. Kahneman has spent much of his life researching the subject, and since the book includes both his research and that of others, it must stand as the definitive compendium...more
Behavioural economics: A very rational explanation of why Humans are not rational beings. Which is NOT to say that we are irrational. Just not always terribly consistent. That’s OK.
A bit repetitive, parts of it were familiar from other books like Irrationality, and then there were parts that lost me completely, where even when I kicked my indolent system 2 into slovenly, grudging action, the sheer arithmetics of some examples just would not allow themselves to be beaten into submission, no matte...more
Excellent book that should be of interest to those interested in Julian Jaynes's ideas on consciousness. This book could probably have been titled Thinking Non-Consciously and Consciously.
Harry Lane
This is a hard book. Not because the author is hard to read; on the contrary, he is clear, lucid and compelling. He uses a multitude of examples and cases to illustrate the points he makes. The difficulty is rather in us, the readers. Kahneman's thesis, abundantly supported, is that all of us operate on two levels. Anyone who is at all familiar with psychology and research into the brain knows about our "lizard brain." Kahneman shows how this part of our makeup operates at a level far beyond the...more
Jud Barry
I've long wondered about the "rational man" of economic theory and have wondered if there was some kind of drug I could take that would enable me to be that person. And what did it mean that I--fully aware of my emotion-based spending (or, more likely, not spending) decisions--seemed, as a Prius owner, to be much more rational than the majority of American car buyers with their acceptance of insanely low mpg's?

Having read this book, I now believe that the rational man of economic theory needs to...more
Okay, yeah, this has to go on the to-be-read shelf. And the over-stuffed cognition shelf. Hey, at least I was reading Kahneman before he won that Nobel Prize, before he got really popular. But I have to admit I never actually finished his Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases — it was due back at the library when I was only halfway through. That is a slow, engrossing grind of an academic tome, though.

All the reviews have been glowing. Kahneman is golden, of course —he's ascended into...more
A long book that requires real mental exertion, Thinking, Fast and Slow is a worthwhile read by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman. It delves into the two complex systems of the mind. System 1 is impulsive, emotional, and often led astray, while System 2 is rational, thoughtful, and takes more time to makes decisions. He analyzes how humans use (and sometimes fail to use) both systems, and the resulting implications on topics ranging from how we perceive happiness to behavioral economics.

Thinking, F...more
Kahneman is a brilliant thinker who's small experiments cracked the foundations of neo-classical/rational choice theory. His collections like Choices, Values and Frames are terrific reading, full of extraordinarily disorienting observations of actual human behavior.

That said, this book was a bit of a disappointment. In this book, Kahneman weaves together a series of ideas based on his experiments and the experiments of like-minded researchers, and the effect is underwhelming. Gone is the carefu...more
I feel this book richly deserves its status. Kahneman has handed over the rich & surprising fruits of a lifetime of creative thought and research, in a well-organised book free of academiese (hurrah!) He also makes the material interactive by inviting us to do little mental activities to illustrate his simple study methods and assist the delight of recognition that makes this such an enjoyable read.

One of his goals is to provide ways to talk about and tackle some everyday problems by conside...more
This is an excellent book about how we think, written by a Nobel-prize-winning economist. Kahneman explains how two "systems" in the mind make decisions. "System 1" is the fast, intuitive aspect of the mind. "System 2" is the slower, logical and reasoning part of the mind. We generally make decisions quickly with the System 1, often because System 2 is simply--lazy. It takes effort to think things out rationally, and our rational minds are not always up to the job.

This book is a long, comprehen...more
After an initial entry description, this book is basically a catalogue of findings in behavioral economics. I appreciated the fact that it skipped many of the obligatory filler stories that most science writers use to turn articles into books, and I found the book very well edited, with a clear organization by theme and subtheme. That said, if you read Scientific American or any other popular publication, you won't find anything new here.

What strikes me as interesting about the book (and behavio...more
There have been quite a lot of books on irrationality and cognitive biases lately. Kahneman's "Thinking fast and slow" is yet another contribution to this stack of popular science literature.

During my studies I have read the academic articles of Kahneman and Tsversky on prospect theory, judgement, and framing of decisions. And I looked forward to reading this popular work. I liked the book, but I did not find it exceptionally good. Especially the later chapters could have been written somewhat c...more
What a monstrous chore to read! I've been working on this book since September or August (4-6 months) and just could not take reading it for more than a few minutes at a time. Many times did it put me to sleep.

The book covered a lot of great material and really fascinating research, but oftentimes in such plodding, pedantic, meticulous detail as to nearly obfuscate the point. I have heard of the majority of the research (or at least their conclusions) as well, so while I thought it offered exce...more
This is a very interesting book on psychology in which Daniel Kahneman addresses the way we think in two major systems which he describes as the following:

System 1 being the one that operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control, and
System 2 which allocates to the effort full mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concen...more
When I picked up this book I had huge expectations. After all, Daniel Kahneman was praised by people like Malcolm Gladwell, Naseem Nicholas Taleb, Michael Lewis, all of whom I respect a lot. Of course, he is also a Nobel prize winner in economics.

I see good amount of books out there on the topic of Behavioral Science/Psychology and one such book that I had read recently was Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. I felt Blink was very straightforward but a bit too simplistic for my liking. Thinking, Fast an...more
There are some interesting ideas here, but why do so many of these left-brain science types insist on writing their own books? Like a lot of generalized overviews written by some expert in his or her field, Daniel Kahneman's survey of the current ideas surrounding behavioral economics was a real chore to slog through at times.

The book is broken into five sections and, at least to me, things really didn't start getting interesting until section three. In the first two sections, there are just to...more
Megan Baxter
Thinking, Fast and Slow is just okay. It's being marketed as a book on psychology (and economic psychology, in particular) for the layperson. I'm not sure if other laypeople agree, but this wasn't really for me. And it's not that the prose is too technical (okay, sometimes it is) but rather that Kahneman is stuck somewhere between academic technicalities and clear expressive prose.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You...more
My favorite passage: "When I asked my large undergraduate class in some indignation, 'Do you realize that you have violated an elementary logical rule?' someone in the back row shouted, 'So what?'" (p.158).

Most relevant for me were the many examples of the striking differences in between subjects and within subjects experiments. So, for example, when subjects were asked to judge the value of the following sets of dinnerware presented together, they judged set A as more valuable:

SET A: 40 pieces
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Everything is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer
  • This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking
  • The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us
  • Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
  • The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home
  • What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
  • Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
  • Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change
  • Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
  • The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain
  • Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long
  • Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
  • Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions
  • The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work
  • Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us
From Wikipedia:

Daniel Kahneman (Hebrew: דניאל כהנמן‎ (born 5 March 1934) is an Israeli-American psychologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, notable for his work on behavioral finance and hedonic psychology.

With Amos Tversky and others, Kahneman established a cognitive basis for common human errors using heuristics and biases (Kahneman & Tversky, 1973, Kahnema...more
More about Daniel Kahneman...
Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases Choices, Values, and Frames Attention And Effort Well-Being: Foundations of Hedonic Psychology Economia Della Felicità

Share This Book

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.” 118 likes
“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it” 59 likes
More quotes…