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Daniel Kahneman quotes Showing 121-150 of 1,075

“A compelling narrative fosters an illusion of inevitability.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“The prominence of causal intuitions is a recurrent theme in this book because people are prone to apply causal thinking inappropriately, to situations that require statistical reasoning.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“You know you have made a theoretical advance when you can no longer reconstruct why you failed for so long to see the obvious.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Because adherence to standard operating procedures is difficult to second-guess, decision makers who expect to have their decisions scrutinized with hindsight are driven to bureaucratic solutions—and to an extreme reluctance to take risks.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Caring for people often takes the form of concern for the quality of their stories, not for their feelings.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“One of the significant discoveries of cognitive psychologists in recent decades is that switching from one task to another is effortful, especially under time pressure.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“The goal of venture capitalists is to call the extreme cases correctly, even at the cost of overestimating the prospects of many other ventures.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“An availability cascade is a self-sustaining chain of events, which may start from media reports of a relatively minor event and lead up to public panic and large-scale government action. On some occasions, a media story about a risk catches the attention of a segment of the public, which becomes aroused and worried. This emotional reaction becomes a story in itself, prompting additional coverage in the media, which in turn produces greater concern and involvement. The cycle is sometimes sped along deliberately by “availability entrepreneurs,” individuals or organizations who work to ensure a continuous flow of worrying news. The danger is increasingly exaggerated as the media compete for attention-grabbing headlines. Scientists and others who try to dampen the increasing fear and revulsion attract little attention, most of it hostile: anyone who claims that the danger is overstated is suspected of association with a “heinous cover-up.” The issue becomes politically important because it is on everyone’s mind, and the response of the political system is guided by the intensity of public sentiment. The availability cascade has now reset priorities. Other risks, and other ways that resources could be applied for the public good, all have faded into the background.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“A general limitation of the human mind is its imperfect ability to reconstruct past states of knowledge, or beliefs that have changed. Once you adopt a new view of the world (or of any part of it), you immediately lose much of your ability to recall what you used to believe before your mind changed.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Whenever we can replace human judgment by a formula, we should at least consider it.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“The evidence suggests that optimism is widespread, stubborn, and costly.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“The experience of freely willed action is quite separate from physical causality. Although it is your hand that picks up the salt, you do not think of the event in terms of a chain of physical causation. You experience it as caused by a decision that a disembodied you made, because you wanted to add salt to your food. Many people find it natural to describe their soul as the source and the cause of their actions. The psychologist Paul Bloom, writing in The Atlantic in 2005, presented the provocative claim that our inborn readiness to separate physical and intentional causality explains the near universality of religious beliefs. He observes that “we perceive the world of objects as essentially separate from the world of minds, making it possible for us to envision soulless bodies and bodiless souls.” The two modes of causation that we are set to perceive make it natural for us to accept the two central beliefs of many religions: an immaterial divinity is the ultimate cause of the physical world, and immortal souls temporarily control our bodies while we live and leave them behind as we die. In Bloom’s view, the two concepts of causality were shaped separately by evolutionary forces,”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“impressions, feelings, and inclinations; when endorsed by System 2 these become beliefs, attitudes, and intentions”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“We reach the point of diminishing marginal predictive returns for knowledge disconcertingly quickly,” Tetlock writes. “In this age of academic hyperspecialization, there is no reason for supposing that contributors to top journals—distinguished political scientists, area study specialists, economists, and so on—are any better than journalists or attentive readers of The New York Times in ‘reading’ emerging situations.” The”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“CHARACTERISTICS OF SYSTEM 1 generates impressions, feelings, and inclinations; when endorsed by System 2 these become beliefs, attitudes, and intentions operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort, and no sense of voluntary control can be programmed by System 2 to mobilize attention when a particular pattern is detected (search) executes skilled responses and generates skilled intuitions, after adequate training creates a coherent pattern of activated ideas in associative memory links a sense of cognitive ease to illusions of truth, pleasant feelings, and reduced vigilance distinguishes the surprising from the normal infers and invents causes and intentions neglects ambiguity and suppresses doubt is biased to believe and confirm exaggerates emotional consistency (halo effect) focuses on existing evidence and ignores absent evidence (WYSIATI) generates a limited set of basic assessments represents sets by norms and prototypes, does not integrate matches intensities across scales (e.g., size to loudness) computes more than intended (mental shotgun) sometimes substitutes an easier question for a difficult one (heuristics) is more sensitive to changes than to states (prospect theory)* overweights low probabilities* shows diminishing sensitivity to quantity (psychophysics)* responds more strongly to losses than to gains (loss aversion)* frames decision problems narrowly, in isolation from one another*”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“The best possible account of the data provides bad news: tired and hungry judges tend to fall back on the easier default position of denying requests for parole. Both fatigue and hunger probably play a role.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“recent research that has introduced a distinction between two selves, the experiencing self and the remembering self, which do not have the same interests. For example, we can expose people to two painful experiences. One of these experiences is strictly worse than the other, because it is longer. But the automatic formation of memories—a feature of System 1—has its rules, which we can exploit so that the worse episode leaves a better memory. When people later choose which episode to repeat, they are, naturally, guided by their remembering self and expose themselves (their experiencing self) to unnecessary pain.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Many activities can induce a sense of flow, from painting to racing motorcycles—and”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“The brains of humans contain a mechanism that is designed to give priority to bad news.”
Daniel Kahneman
“For example, the question “Do you now feel a slight numbness in your left leg?” always prompts quite a few people to report that their left leg does indeed feel a little strange.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“In a later chapter he describes a massive failure of intuition: Americans elected President Harding, whose only qualification for the position was that he perfectly looked the part. Square jawed and tall, he was the perfect image of a strong and decisive leader. People voted for someone who looked strong and decisive without any other reason to believe that he was. An intuitive prediction of how Harding would perform as president arose from substituting one question for another. A reader of this book should expect such an intuition to be held with confidence.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Many people find the priming results unbelievable, because they do not correspond to subjective experience. Many others find the results upsetting, because they threaten the subjective sense of agency and autonomy. If the content of a screen saver on an irrelevant computer can affect your willingness to help strangers without your being aware of it, how free are you? Anchoring”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Half the participants were told to nod their head up and down while others were told to shake it side to side. The messages they heard were radio editorials. Those who nodded (a yes gesture) tended to accept the message they heard, but those who shook their head tended to reject it. Again, there was no awareness, just a habitual connection between an attitude of rejection or acceptance and its common physical expression. You can see why the common admonition to “act calm and kind regardless of how you feel” is very good advice: you are likely to be rewarded by actually feeling calm and kind.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Compare two commitments that will change some aspects of your life: buying a comfortable new car and joining a group that meets weekly, perhaps a poker or book club. Both experiences will be novel and exciting at the start. The crucial difference is that you will eventually pay little attention to the car as you drive it, but you will always attend to the social interaction to which you committed yourself. By WYSIATI (it's an acronym explained at the beginning of the book to explain how we only take into account minimal information of the type that we can most readily access e.g. how we're feeling right at this moment to answer how we feel about our lives in general) you are likely to exaggerate the long-term benefits of the car, but you are not likely to make the same mistake for a social gathering or for inherently attention-demanding activities such as playing tennis or learning to play the cello. The focusing illusion (your focus on something makes it feel more important than it actually is at that moment in time when you're focussing on it) creates a bias in favour of goods and experiences that are initially exciting, even if they will eventually lose their appeal. Time is neglected, causing experiences that will retain their attention value in the long term to be appreciated less than they deserve to be.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Regression effects are ubiquitous, and so are misguided causal stories to explain them. A well-known example is the “Sports Illustrated jinx,” the claim that an athlete whose picture appears on the cover of the magazine is doomed to perform poorly the following season. Overconfidence and the pressure of meeting high expectations are often offered as explanations. But there is a simpler account of the jinx: an athlete who gets to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated must have performed exceptionally well in the preceding season, probably with the assistance of a nudge from luck—and luck is fickle. I happened to watch the men’s ski jump event in the Winter Olympics while Amos and I were writing an article about intuitive prediction. Each athlete has two jumps in the event, and the results are combined for the final score. I was startled to hear the sportscaster’s comments while athletes were preparing for their second jump: “Norway had a great first jump; he will be tense, hoping to protect his lead and will probably do worse” or “Sweden had a bad first jump and now he knows he has nothing to lose and will be relaxed, which should help him do better.” The commentator had obviously detected regression to the mean and had invented a causal story for which there was no evidence. The story itself could even be true. Perhaps if we measured the athletes’ pulse before each jump we might find that they are indeed more relaxed after a bad first jump. And perhaps not. The point to remember is that the change from the first to the second jump does not need a causal explanation. It is a mathematically inevitable consequence of the fact that luck played a role in the outcome of the first jump. Not a very satisfactory story—we would all prefer a causal account—but that is all there is.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“This set of choices has a lot to tell us about the limits of human rationality. For one thing, it helps us see the logical consistency of Human preferences for what it is—a hopeless mirage.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“You just like winning and dislike losing—and you almost certainly dislike losing more than you like winning.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“One of Hess’s findings especially captured my attention. He had noticed that the pupils are sensitive indicators of mental effort—they dilate substantially when people multiply two-digit numbers, and they dilate more if the problems are hard than if they are easy. His observations indicated that the response to mental effort is distinct from emotional arousal. Hess’s work did not have much to do with hypnosis, but I concluded that the idea of a visible indication of mental effort had promise as a research topic. A graduate student in the lab, Jackson Beatty, shared my enthusiasm and we got to work.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“When you are in a state of cognitive ease, you are probably in a good mood, like what you see, believe what you hear, trust your intuitions, and feel that the current situation is comfortably familiar. You are also likely to be relatively casual and superficial in your thinking. When you feel strained, you are more likely to be vigilant and suspicious, invest more effort in what you are doing, feel less comfortable, and make fewer errors, but you also are less intuitive and less creative than usual.”
Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow


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