Pawel Dolega's Reviews > Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
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it was amazing

I got to this book via reference in Incerto Series by Nassim Taleb. Taleb frequently refers to this book and apparently have lots of respect for the author - Daniel Kahneman. So here you have one straightforward takeaway point from this review - if you enjoyed Taleb's series, Kahneman's book is a sure bet.

I can certainly say that this is one of the best books I recently (or maybe even ever) read. It's a big claim as traditionally I've never valued psychological books much. The reason for this is mainly poor validity of such sources. Simply, this particular area of science is very often lacking in proper statistical or disciplined approach in general for performing experiments and drawing conclusions. This leads to bulk of psychological resources that represent more of an author opinions and views rather than consistent research results. Funny thing is - this problem is even mentioned by the author himself (with due regret - as author is a psychologist).

Here we have exact opposite to problem mentioned above. Kahneman discusses lots of solid research (repeatable, clearly described and with short feedback loop). When author adds some of his opinions or speculations which do not directly come from the research experiments - he clearly distinguishes this from instances where there are hard proofs. In short - validity seems to be high and Kohneman himself appears to be a true scholar.

Book is composed in such a way that each chapter discusses particular human bias - most of the time it's bias rooted in System 1 - conceptual aspect of the brain that is is often referred in literature as a "lizard brain". I don't want to give more details here, as distinction between System 1 and System 2 is one of the most interesting aspects for the book. Still, there is a consistent train of thought in this kind of narration - on the one hand you can read chapters separately, on the other, it constructs a solid plot (in a sense that consecutive chapters build on top of the proceeding ones).

There is a lot of concrete, pragmatic actions that you can do in context of your own life to avoid systematic biases described in the book. Author is very pragmatic about this - again, rare quality for academics.

Let me finish this review with following statement - I strongly believe that this book would be very useful for anyone who either needs to take important decisions and is held accountable or have people taking decisions reporting to him / her. Which is basically everyone, in one way or another...

Highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

January 1, 2016 – Shelved
January 1, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 14, 2016 – Started Reading
May 20, 2016 – Finished Reading

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