Top critical review
Essential wisdom. Not an easy read but worth persevering.
9 December 2018
Why do people buy extended warranties that are bad value for money?
Why do we marry people just because they're good in bed?
Why do investors snatch small profits from winning investments whilst allowing large losses to build up in bad investments?
Why do parents deny their children life saving vaccinations for fear of unproven risks?
Why do we think a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush?
On the whole humans are incredibly good at making bad decisions because they allow emotions and moral values to prevail over good sense and simple mathematical calculation. We make snap decisions based on our intuition (fast thinking) and often believe our intuition is superior to logic (slow thinking). For example, President Trump recently said he preferred to listen to his 'gut' than his advisors.
Kahneman examines the reasons why we make bad decisions and indicates ways in which we might make better decisions - even if the better decisions make us feel uncomfortable because they are counterintuitive.
My only problem with this book is that it is so laborious in places that I almost lost interest. Sometimes Kahneman goes on and on about a proposition that has (at least for me) zero interest. If he asks 'How much would you pay for a bowl of roses valued at $59?' I don't have an answer because I'm simply not interested and I don't want to know how much anyone else would pay, or why they would or wouldn't pay it. Perhaps it's just me, but I found some of the propositions too complex to bother with. But to be fair there were some chapters that had me spellbound - maybe because they touched on areas where I make bad decisions.
Overall, this is an important book but spoiled by too much dense argument and irrelevant illustration. It could have contained all the salient points and been reduced to half the length without any dilution of the message.