Michael's Reviews > Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
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Have you ever had a seemingly random thought pop into your head for no reason? I used to wonder how the thought came into my mind almost by itself like that, without me even trying to think of it! Well the answer to that question, and many more, is in this book.

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman explores the complexities the human mind, its strengths, weaknesses, biases, and intuitions.

Central to the book is the notion that our minds have two ways of processing information. The first way, which Kahneman labels as System 1, is automatic and intuitive and does not require our conscious attention. For example, driving a car is a task that uses System 1 most of the time, because our bodies have learned how to make this task automatic. I can execute a right turn without thinking too hard.

The second way our minds process information is through conscious thought and effort. To use the car analogy again, when I first learned to drive, I had to pay close attention to everything I did. It was a new skill and was not automatic. But I was still able to drive a car because I was applying what Kahneman calls System 2 - our ability to consciously decide things and think about things.

Most of the book explores how these two systems interact with each other. Kahneman shows how our conscious minds (System 2) often make decisions quickly based off of an intuition that originated from System 1. While this ability is a great advantage to someone like a firefighter, whose intuitions are usually accurate due to practice, it can cause errors in thinking in other areas - like buying a new car.

Kahneman also explores the dynamics of how we make decisions, process risk vs. reward, and explores the realm of happiness to understand what kinds of things makes humans happy.

Though out the book, he backs up all of his conclusions with detailed tests and physiological experiments that support his claims. For some, this may cause the book to seem like a hard read. However, I found reading about the different experiments that were done to be the most interesting part of the book!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 18, 2016 –
page 275
55.11%
May 31, 2016 – Shelved

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