Arvind's Reviews > Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
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M 50x66
's review

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, psychology, read-2016

I am having a hard time rating and reviewing this book. You may appreciate this review more once you've actually patiently read all of it.

The book of course is primarily about how we make decisions and form opinions under different circumstances, sometimes with limited information. This is indeed one of the most authoritative books on this topic - if you are a prospective reader who has never ventured into this area before I would recommend Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions and/or Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work to get started first. For an alternate view to some of the material presented here I also suggest Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking , but that is not a book I enjoyed or found too convincing.

One the one hand, this is probably one of the best books on this topic ever written. The research presented covers decades of work of multiple people, and so this is one of the most quoted books in other works on psychology and decision making. Reading this also made me have strong reactions at different times, and more often than not made me think about my reaction in depth - I think also the hallmark of a good book.

The main reason I can not give it five stars - I think the book is overly long, and certain points are belabored and restated way too often. If you can get indoctrinated through repetition of ideas, this book does its utmost best to drill the ideas into your head, whether or not you choose to agree. I found that a little annoying at times, and actually at one point I had abandoned reading it. I came back to it almost a year later, and listened to the audiobook at 1.6x speed. Also having been primed for what's coming, I was able to get more out of listening to it. I am glad I came back.

One other reason I can't give it five stars - there are several examples where the author asks you to imagine a situation or solve a short problem, and then assumes you have reached a particular conclusion. I had a lot of instances where I did not reach his stated conclusion so it was at times a little annoying to keep hearing "this is why you reached this wrong conclusion". Maybe in the examples cited a majority of people reached his stated conclusion, but I easily know a lot of people who are contrarians and would think otherwise.

This books appears on multiple people's recommended reads from researchers to business leaders. I read it more out of personal interest in this topic (and see potential applications in professional life). However I do advise that it does require a lot of patience and an open mind to read it all the way.

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Reading Progress

July 18, 2015 – Started Reading
July 18, 2015 – Shelved
January 15, 2016 – Shelved as: non-fiction
January 15, 2016 – Shelved as: psychology
June 2, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
June 2, 2016 – Finished Reading

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