What We Are Reading
August 2021

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

In 2002, Daniel Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, quite an achievement for a non-economist. Considered by some the most influential psychologist alive today, Kahneman was a founding father of modern behavioral economics. Thinking Fast and Slow is a culmination of Kahneman’s research of the many ways we fall victim to compelling cognitive illusions. In this tour of our irrational minds, Kahneman explains the two “systems” that control how we think. System 1, a machine for jumping to conclusions, operates quickly with little effort, telling ourselves comforting, yet often incorrect stories about how the world works. System 2, our doubting, analytical mind, can be mobilized to clean up System 1’s messes but takes great energy and effort. Priming, framing, confirmation and hindsight biases– Kahneman catalogs many of these faults, legacy holdovers from earlier stages of human development, still wired in our brains, following obsolete rules and propelling us into making poor judgements today. Be ready to wear out your highlighter tracking all the surprising ways we manage to ignore our own ignorance.

HIGHLIGHT(S): When problem-solving as a group, Kahneman recommends employing a “premortem”. Ask the group to “Imagine we are a year into the future. We implemented the plan as it now exists. The outcome was a disaster. Please write a brief history of that disaster.” The premortem overcomes the groupthink that effects teams by legitimizing doubt and encouraging supporters of the decision to search for possible threats that had not been considered earlier.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman/dp/0374533555/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1OPESDWD5D9WA&dchild=1&keywords=thinking+fast+and+slow&qid=1614430946&sprefix=thinking%2Caps%2C154&sr=8-2

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