J A's Reviews > Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
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really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction

Kahneman is clearly erudite in this area, and draws on the pioneering work he conducted with his colleague Amos Tversky to reveal how we fail to adhere to rational models of behaviour (he loathes critics who refer to his conclusions as being 'humans are irrational'). The book is lengthy, sometimes tangential, but always informative and revealing. Sometimes the examples can become burdensome (there are quite a few similarly-worded questionnaires: If there is a []% chance of receiving [] etc.), and I don't think it's strictly essential for Kahneman to labour about how many Nobel laureates he has worked with or knows; equally, the tone of the book sometimes wanders into being patronising.

Luckily, the majority of the book is insightful, and you can believe the almost-hyperbolic assertions of the blurb critics that this can change your (our) view of the world. There are too many instances of this to mention, and Kahneman goes out of his way to present them in a way that is simplistic enough that they can be applied to everyday situations. I found myself talking to house-mates about some of the findings, and having some great discussions about their implications. Each sections ends with a collection of 'water-cooler' points of gossip: "The endowment effect means she's not likely to want to give that up . . .". Sometimes these can be superfluous, and I found myself skipping them generally, but I can see that for other readers they might be a welcome addition.

Overall, the book is an extremely worthwhile read, even if at times it can feel laborious. Undoubtedly it will change the way that you conceive of people and their actions, and that's the most a non-fiction book can be asked to do.

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Reading Progress

March 14, 2014 – Started Reading
March 14, 2014 – Shelved
March 14, 2014 –
page 180
March 23, 2014 –
page 220
May 30, 2014 – Finished Reading
March 2, 2016 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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