Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” has been a best-seller since it was first published in 2011. It was listed as one of the ten best books by the New York Times Book Review, named Best Non-Fiction by the Wall Street Journal, and won the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award. In this eloquent and scholarly summary of his many years of research into the human thought process, Kahneman completely upends our long-held assumptions about how and why we make the choices that we do. He gives us a radical new paradigm through which to see ourselves and gracefully urges us to throw out all illusions about our thoughts and judgments being rational as they are actually based on various biases and influences, which we rarely tap into. Once we see this blunt and peculiar reality we can alter our thinking and increase the possibilities at our grasp.

Meet the Drivers of Your Thoughts

Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman

This book will take you on an expedition through your mind, examining the two systems that “drive the way we think.” System 1 is emotional, intuitive and quick, and system 2 is logical, more deliberative and slow. According to Kahneman, there is a method by which we can observe the inner workings of our mind. We can learn when to trust our intuition and when to question our ‘gut feeling’, how to connect to the slow-thinker in us and benefit from internal deliberation.

Prof. Daniel Kahneman

System 1 manages just about all the choices we make, fast intuitive thinking is our mind’s default. System 2, on the other hand, uses deductive reasoning and requires effort on our part. We often believe that we are using system 2 when our thought process is actually being led by system 1. And while fast thinking is essential, especially in times of crisis and emergency when we need to decide and act instantly, slow thinking is of great importance as well and needs to be nurtured. When we base a decision on layers of reasoning, on previous patterns in our personal history, when we decide to do something despite x or y, when we focus on a specific voice or figure in a stimulation-packed environment, we are using system 2.

Choose How to Think

Daniel Kahneman is considered to be one of the most influential psychologists in the world today, honored for his groundbreaking work in the psychology of decision-making and personal judgment as well as behavioral economics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” draws upon his decades of research, exploring what influences our thoughts and beliefs, presenting us with the truth about what we think we understand but in fact do not. The passageway Kahneman’s work opens for us, into our own heads, can be startling, but as we all know knowledge is power. With this knowledge, we can take a step back before we react, identify the origin of our thought through a new set of lenses, and perhaps find the true rationale that is driving us.
Once we better understand the way we think we can control our automatic responses, at least to some extent, reflect on our decision-making process and fine-tune our choices and behaviors.

Thinking Fast and Slow is a great read, as an accurate reflection of the content which is both theoretical and practical, the writing too is professional and accurate and at the same time accessible and engaging.