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113 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very wise and interesting read, with a few niggles
This book summarises the latest psychological research on human judgement, in particular how we think irrationally, jump to conclusions and fall prey to failures of intuition.

To give you a feel, here is an example from chapter 17. Have a look at this statement and see if you can guess why it might be true:

"Highly intelligent women tend to marry...
Published on 17 July 2012 by hfffoman

versus
331 of 366 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thinking Well, Thinking Poorly
You are at the cinema watching the latest film. Fifteen minutes before the end, the projector explodes and the screening is terminated prematurely. You feel that the experience was ruined. However, Daniel Kahneman knows better - he asserts that you are mistaken! Your own mind has deceived you. A combination of `duration neglect' and the `peak end rule' is responsible...
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by M. D. Holley


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 18 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Thinking, Fast and Slow (Paperback)
The book is an excellent summary of the relevant literature. It is also a brilliant and sincere presentation of the author's personal contribution.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 31 Jan 2013
By 
Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
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It has taken me a very long time to read this book which, far from being a reflection of any fault on the author's part,is an indication of just how good it is. So much is contained within each chapter that they all require a period of reflection and intellectual digestion before one is ready to move on. The very nature of Kahneman's thesis - that we will automatically rely wherever possible on that part of our mind that doesn't stop to think - rather precludes a list of to do's and action points. However, the concept of the premortem is worth reading the book for alone.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The interplay of rational and irrational, 17 Aug 2012
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thinking, Fast and Slow (Paperback)
In recent years Daniel Kahneman's name has appeared in economic writings, pointing to the flaws of assumptions economists make about the nature of human motivation. As he points out in the book, there was some resistance from economists on this, despite the fact that many great economists in the past have had and interest in psychology including Keynes and Schumpeter. In 2002 full acknowledgement of his contributions here came when he was awarded the Noble Prize for Economics.

This book here however, is not strictly about economics, though he does use ideas to explain some aspects of economic behaviour. It is a book about psychology. Kahneman's bias is towards cognitive psychology rather than psychotherapeutic. He does point at one point to what can be a limitation of a psychotherapeutic approach, but he is not hostile to such approaches. Indeed he shows a great deal of self-knowledge when pointing out differences between colleagues are more down to language than the validity of what they present.

Kahnemans's essential idea is that there are two ways we perceive the world with: a fast, immediate (one might say instinctual or intuitive) one that he calls System 1; a slower, reflective System 2, which weighs things up. Many problems of judgement, particularly when facing the unknown, are caused by our reacting in ways when the two systems are in conflict, when System 1 reacting immediately may override System 2.

This idea sometimes has lead the the suggestion that Kahneman is telling us that human nature is irrational. As he specifically states, this is not the case. He is saying that human nature consists of both rational and irrational, and the latter sometimes takes over. Those of us, more biased towards a psychotherapeutic than cognitive approach, will possibly see a similarity to ideas about unconscious motivations. In this I would agree, but Kahneman is giving this a different slant, and has other ideas of his own.

I've seen comments that this is a major book in the history of studies of human motivation. Maybe. Sometimes the writing in this book strikes me as a little ponderous. But Kahneman is never less than clear, even if he is not a prose stylist, and by and large he holds the readers interest. It's good to have something from the source of some of the ideas currently being discussed behavioural economics and cognitive psychology.

There is much of interest and value for all in this volume, regardless of psychological bias. "Thinking Fast and Slow" deserves the attention it is getting. I suspect it will change the way people (and especially economists) view human motivation and the way it manifests itself.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever, 24 July 2012
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J. Harper - See all my reviews
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This is an amazing and challenging book about how we think. Full of clever explanations backed up by experimental evidence that show how flawed and lazy our thought processes are.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Profound, 22 Jun 2012
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AM (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Thinking, Fast and Slow (Paperback)
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This was on the best seller list in a high street chain (or at least was being promoted as such). I buy a number of self improvement books and thought this looked like an interesting read.

It's not a light read at all and the print is very small so can make it seem quite a task to read but it's fascinating. It really makes you pause for thought and understand rational for doing things.

Recommended for the curious.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 14 Jun 2012
I'm about halfway through and am finding it to be an interesting and informative read. I now understanding how my thought processes work. The chapter on anchoring is extremely interesting, especially if you've ever haggled over a price!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thoughts on how our brains work, 28 April 2012
Well structured book on an interesting topic. Occasionally the examples and facts presented seem improbable but as Kahneman explains, everything has been empirically tested multiple times. Really interesting to learn how our mind works, even when we don't know it's working...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 21 Mar 2012
By 
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK) - See all my reviews
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All about how we think - by a well recognised academic.

The book is all about why we can't really trust our own mind - it distorts, invents, contradicts and misleads us. And it happens to everyone - it is not just a few of us!

An interesting challenge for all of us - even if a bit frightening...

It has certainly made me take a step back and have a long hard think about how (and why) I make my decisions. But this may be a circular argument as it is my own (untrustworthy) brain that I am using to read this book - HELP - how do I get out of this vicious circle?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lifetime of Research, Summarized, 6 Feb 2012
Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow is an excellent and extremely thought-provoking book. It is long, but so is Kahneman's career, and for once, the length of the book is fully justified by its contents. The book is essentially about two metaphorical systems of the mind; an intuitive System 1, and a reflective but lazy System 2. As Kahneman stresses, these systems do not exist as such, but they are useful tools for thinking. Another distinction is drawn between Econs, the mythical, logically consistent beings of economical theory, and Humans, who in actuality fail to meet this criteria. A third, and perhaps the most interesting distinction involves the experiencing self and the remembering self. The latter is the one that makes our decisions, yet those decisions do not always serve the best interests of the experiencing self. From my point of view, the most important parts of the book are chapter one, clarifying the relations between the two systems, and chapter five, tackling the two selves. The most influential ideas as of now, relating to biases, heuristics and prospect theory, are discussed in the chapters between.

The majority of ideas and claims in the book make intuitive sense once revealed. However, there are some that I find very hard to accept. Such is the power of System 1, not prone to statistics, that I still am unable to wrap my mind around the importance of base rate in the taxi cab example. But there's an example of framing effect near the end of the book (pp. 369-370) that I find even more baffling. The example derives from Thomas Schelling, and it involves child exemptions in the tax code. Schelling had asked his students their opinion on the following proposition: "Should the child exemption be larger for the rich than for the poor?" Predictably, this idea was regarded as unacceptable. Then Schelling had explained that the tax law could be formulated in such a way that a family with two children would be the default case, and those with less than two children would have to pay a surcharge. Now comes another proposition: "Should the childless poor pay as large a surcharge as the childless rich?" This idea was also rejected, but according to Schelling and Kahneman, it's illogical to reject both the above two propositions at the same time. Now, I can understand that an exemption for a child is from another point of view a surcharge for those who do not have children. Thus if the poor pay less surcharge than the rich for having less than two children, the poor's exemption for children has to be less as well. But it seems to me that this contradiction depends on pitting the poor households with kids against poor households with no kids, and same for the rich households. If you are already by definition poor, surely you have less ability to withstand any surcharges than if you are rich. Likewise, if you are by definition poor, receiving any exemptions in that situation seems more just than receiving exemptions if you are already rich. Looking at the situation from the point of view of equality, pitting the poor against the rich, both a larger exemption for the poor and a smaller surcharge for the poor, as suggested changes to the status quo, seem to me to lessen the gap in income between the rich and the poor.

In any case, Thinking, Fast and Slow is a great book and highly recommended reading.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insights that will blow your mind., 22 Jan 2012
(Apologies for the mediocre English)

This is one of the most interesting books I have read in months. You have no idea how baised your opinions are untill you read this book. Author added a lot of questions you have to answer before reading the next chapter which makes it obvious that the readers opinions are as baised as the test subjects.

Worth every penny!
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