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Thinking Fast And Slow Summary – June 2022

Author: Daniel Kahneman

Short Summary
Thinking Fast and Slow (2011) is a book written by Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. The book describes the two systems in your brain that drive the way you think, feel and make decisions every day. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; it automatically and quickly operates on stored information and is easy to use, but prone to errors. System 2 (the “intellectually disciplined” system) is slower, requires more effort, and can override System 1 when needed but it’s mentally exhausting.
thinking fast and slow summary
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

For the last 25 years, Dr. Kahneman has been teaching his groundbreaking course in judgment and decision making at Princeton University, as a fellow of the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After this huge achievement, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, becoming just one of a handful of psychologists to win this prestigious prize.

The book shows you how can your mind be so smart, and yet get tricked by the same things? And how does it feel to be a marketer for the brain? The book also offers little anecdotes about the ways people can get deceived by their brains, such as the story of an NFL quarterback who fooled his coach into believing he had memorized all the plays from the playbook. The coach, who was so convinced that he would trust him to put a play in during a game, was disappointed when he found out that the quarterback was relying on mental notes and never had memorized the whole playbook.

This Thinking Fast And Slow Summary will provide an absorbing tour of the ways the brain works right and how these mental mechanisms lead us astray—and you don’t have to be a nerd to appreciate the experience.

Thinking Fast And Slow Summary Key Points

Your behavior is controlled by two mind systems

In today’s world, we’re overloaded with information. We have to choose what to pay attention to and what to reject. The human mind is not a single entity. Two systems in your mind control how you behave. One is automatic and impulsive – a remnant from the past that is crucial to our survival. The other is very conscious and deliberate and helps you exert self-control and focus.

But these 2 systems are not alternate with each other. They often conflict with each other and compete for power. And that’s how you act and behave. And here’s the reason why: When we think about things deeply, we often get confused and aren’t sure which option is the best one. In such cases, system 1 takes control of the situation and proposes its solutions. And in most cases system, 1’s proposals are usually pretty reasonable because it has collected a lot of data before even thinking about it. However, there’s one problem – System 1 has no access to the long-term consequences of these solutions. Thus, when you make a decision using only System 1, you tend to rely on simple immediate factors like your emotions or gut feeling.

For example, you can state that you are planning to quit smoking, but when you see your favorite cigarette brand at the corner store, you don’t think twice before picking it up. On top of this, how you approach a situation impacts your behavior in a way that’s not only random but also changes with time. Can anything be done about this? Can we help people behave better by encouraging self-control? Yes—by focusing on the right aspect of System 2.

Your lazy brain can make your brain’s intellectuality lazy

It’s a fact, according to Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow. And it’s a problem for us all. We are in the age of information. With only a few clicks, you have instant access to an amount of knowledge that our ancestors couldn’t even dream about.

But unfortunately, our brain has decided that it doesn’t need to work so hard anymore, so it’s cutting corners on operation system number 2, which is the system that “focuses your slow, energy-sapping System 2 thinking on whatever problems or challenges you face at any given moment”. If you have 2 choices and you choose the one that costs less money, that’s System 1 at work. On the other hand, if you have 2 choices and you choose the more expensive one, that’s your System 2.

Put a little pressure on yourself by setting the bar high and you might just surprise yourself. Research shows that when we set the bar high, we’re more likely to meet our goals using what’s called the “bar-raising effect.” It’s a psychological quirk that causes us to aim higher because we want to prove to ourselves that we can do it. So, go ahead and set the bar high and see if your brain doesn’t surprise you with its ability to overcome challenges. You just might do something you never thought you could.

Leave your emotions at home while making money decisions

I recently saw a post on one of the social media platforms that I enjoy. The post was from a guy who was complaining about how his economic situation was horrible and he couldn’t see any way out of the hole he was in. In the meantime, he had made several comments like “things could always be worse.” Well, they could be worse, but it doesn’t help to think like that when you’re trying to figure out what to do.

Remember, psychology is just as much a part of this game as statistics are.

Here’s another thing. If you find yourself rationalizing another lottery ticket with the same old “It’s different this time” mentality, remember how your emotions led you to believe that the past 10 tickets were going to be different too. When you’re making money decisions, leave your emotions at home. Many of us have a sense of diminishing sensitivity to what we can afford or the things we want to buy. Whether you’re buying a car, or a house, or trying to decide whether to take that vacation this year, it’s important to leave your emotions out of the equation.

Thinking Fast And Slow Quotes

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.” –Daniel Kahneman

“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it” –Daniel Kahneman

Thinking Fast And Slow Review

This book is very simple to understand. There is a lot of knowledge with a lot of facts about the mind and behavior. I would highly recommend this book.

To whom I would recommend the Thinking Fast And Slow summary?

  • Anyone interested in neurosciences.
  • Any who is secretly interested in gambling.
  • Anyone wants to know about how our behavior and thinking work.

Link: https://amzn.to/3zngyZB