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Thinking, Fast and Slow Hardcover – November 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846140552
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846140556
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,952,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2011: Drawing on decades of research in psychology that resulted in a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, Daniel Kahneman takes readers on an exploration of what influences thought example by example, sometimes with unlikely word pairs like "vomit and banana." System 1 and System 2, the fast and slow types of thinking, become characters that illustrate the psychology behind things we think we understand but really don't, such as intuition. Kahneman's transparent and careful treatment of his subject has the potential to change how we think, not just about thinking, but about how we live our lives. Thinking, Fast and Slow gives deep--and sometimes frightening--insight about what goes on inside our heads: the psychological basis for reactions, judgments, recognition, choices, conclusions, and much more.  --JoVon Sotak

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Review

There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow.Kahneman, a winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, distils a lifetime of research into an encyclopedic coverage of both the surprising miracles and the equally surprising mistakes of our conscious and unconscious thinking. He achieves an even greater miracle by weaving his insights into an engaging narrative that is compulsively readable from beginning to end. My main problem in doing this review was preventing family members and friends from stealing my copy of the book to read it for themselves...this is one of the greatest and most engaging collections of insights into the human mind I have read -- William Easterly Financial Times Absorbing, intriguing...By making us aware of our minds' tricks, Kahneman hopes to inspire individuals and organisations to identify strategies to outwit them -- Jenni Russell Sunday Times Profound ... As Copernicus removed the Earth from the centre of the universe and Darwin knocked humans off their biological perch, Mr. Kahneman has shown that we are not the paragons of reason we assume ourselves to be The Economist [Thinking, Fast and Slow] is wonderful, of course. To anyone with the slightest interest in the workings of his own mind, it is so rich and fascinating that any summary would seem absurd -- Michael Lewis Vanity Fair It is an astonishingly rich book: lucid, profound, full of intellectual surprises and self-help value. It is consistently entertaining and frequently touching, especially when Kahneman is recounting his collaboration with Tversky ... So impressive is its vision of flawed human reason that the New York Times columnist David Brooks recently declared that Kahneman and Tversky's work 'will be remembered hundreds of years from now,' and that it is 'a crucial pivot point in the way we see ourselves.' They are, Brooks said, 'like the Lewis and Clark of the mind' ... By the time I got to the end of Thinking, Fast and Slow, my skeptical frown had long since given way to a grin of intellectual satisfaction. Appraising the book by the peak-end rule, I overconfidently urge everyone to buy and read it. But for those who are merely interested in Kahenman's takeaway on the Malcolm Gladwell question it is this: If you've had 10,000 hours of training in a predictable, rapid-feedback environment-chess, firefighting, anesthesiology-then blink. In all other cases, think The New York Times Book Review [Kahneman's] disarmingly simple experiments have profoundly changed the way that we think about thinking ... We like to see ourselves as a Promethean species, uniquely endowed with the gift of reason. But Mr. Kahneman's simple experiments reveal a very different mind, stuffed full of habits that, in most situations, lead us astray -- Jonah Lehrer The Wall Street Journal This is a landmark book in social thought, in the same league as The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith and The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Author Of 'the Black Swan' Daniel Kahneman is among the most influential psychologists in history and certainly the most important psychologist alive today...The appearance of Thinking, Fast and Slow is a major event -- Steven Pinker, Author Of The Language Instinct Daniel Kahneman is one of the most original and interesting thinkers of our time. There may be no other person on the planet who better understands how and why we make the choices we make. In this absolutely amazing book, he shares a lifetime's worth of wisdom presented in a manner that is simple and engaging, but nonetheless stunningly profound. This book is a must read for anyone with a curious mind -- Steven D. Levitt, Co-Author Of 'freakonomics' This book is a tour de force by an intellectual giant; it is readable, wise, and deep. Buy it fast. Read it slowly and repeatedly. It will change the way you think, on the job, about the world, and in your own life -- Richard Thaler, Co-Author Of 'nudge' [A] tour de force of psychological insight, research explication and compelling narrative that brings together in one volume the high points of Mr. Kahneman's notable contributions, over five decades, to the study of human judgment, decision-making and choice ... Thanks to the elegance and force of his ideas, and the robustness of the evidence he offers for them, he has helped us to a new understanding of our divided minds-and our whole selves -- Christoper F. Chabris The Wall Street Journal Thinking, Fast and Slow is a masterpiece - a brilliant and engaging intellectual saga by one of the greatest psychologists and deepest thinkers of our time. Kahneman should be parking a Pulitzer next to his Nobel Prize -- Daniel Gilbert, Professor Of Psychology, Harvard University, Author Of 'stumbling On Happiness', Host Of The Award-Winning Pbs Television Series 'this Emotional Life' A major intellectual event ... The work of Kahneman and Tversky was a crucial pivot point in the way we see ourselves -- David Brooks The New York Times Kahneman provides a detailed, yet accessible, description of the psychological mechanisms involved in making decisions -- Jacek Debiec Nature This book is one of the few that must be counted as mandatory reading for anyone interested in the Internet, even though it doesn't claim to be about that. Before computer networking got cheap and ubiquitous, the sheer inefficiency of communication dampened the effects of the quirks of human psychology on macro scale events. No more. We must now confront how we really are in order to make sense of our world and not screw it up. Daniel Kahneman has discovered a path to make it possible -- Jaron Lanier, Author Of You Are Not A Gadget For anyone interested in economics, cognitive science, psychology, and, in short, human behavior, this is the book of the year. Before Malcolm Gladwell and Freakonomics, there was Daniel Kahneman who invented the field of behavior economics, won a Nobel...and now explains how we think and make choices. Here's an easy choice: read this The Daily Beast I will never think about thinking quite the same. [Thinking, Fast and Slow] is a monumental achievement -- Roger Lowenstein Bloomberg/Businessweek A terrific unpicking of human rationality and irrationality - could hardly have been published at a better moment. Kahnemann is the godfather of behavioural economics, and this distillation of a lifetime's thinking about why we make bad decisions - about everything from money to love - is full of brilliant anecdote and wisdom. It is Kahnemann's belief that anyone who thinks they know exactly what is going on hasn't understood the question; as such it's the perfect gift for opinionated family members everywhere. -- Tim Adams Observer Books of the Year The book I most want to be given is Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I'm a speedy thinker myself, so am hoping to be endorsed in that practice. -- Sally Vickers Observer Books of the Year In this comprehensive presentation of a life's work, the world's most influential psychologist demonstrates that irrationality is in our bones, and we are not necessarily the worse for it -- 10 Best Books Of 2011 New York Times Selected by the New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011 New York Times

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Customer Reviews

The excellent style of writing in this book makes it a very interesting and easy read.
Sanjay
Posted as one of the best books of 2011, Thinking Fast and Slow explores the working of the mind on two levels; System 1 - fast and intuitive and System 2 deliberate.
Lynn
The book elegantly and accessibly summarises decades of research by a brilliant mind and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman.
Olikul

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

860 of 908 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Chuck Chakrapani on November 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Back in 1994, Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Director of the Institute of San Raffaele in Milan, Italy, wrote a charming little book about common cognitive distortions called Inevitable Illusions. It is probably the very first comprehensive summary of behavioral economics intended for general audience. In it, he predicted that the two psychologists behind behavioral economics - Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman - would win the Nobel prize. I didn't disagree with the sentiment, but wondered how in the world were they going to get it since these two were psychologists and there is no Nobel prize in psychology. I didn't think there was much chance of them winning the Nobel Prize in economics. I was wrong and Piattelli-Palmarini was right. Kahneman won the Nobel prize in Economic Sciences. (Tversky unfortunately prematurely passed away by this time.) Just as Steve Jobs who was not in the music industry revolutionized it, the non-economists Kahneman and Tversky have revolutionized economic thinking. I have known Kahneman's work for quite some time and was quite excited to see that he was coming out with a non-technical version of his research. My expectations for the book were high and I wasn't disappointed.

Since other reviewers have given an excellent summary of the book, I will be brief in my summary but review the book more broadly.

The basis thesis of the book is simple. In judging the world around us, we use two mental systems: Fast and Slow. The Fast system (System 1) is mostly unconscious and makes snap judgments based on our past experiences and emotions. When we use this system we are as likely to be wrong as right. The Slow system (System 2) is rational, conscious and slow. They work together to provide us a view of the world around us.

So what's the problem?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When you come late to the party, writing the 160th review, you have a certain freedom to write something as much for your own use as for other readers, confident that the review will be at the bottom of the pile.

Kahneman's thesis is that the human animal is systematically illogical. Not only do we mis-assess situations, but we do so following fairly predictable patterns. Moreover, those patterns are grounded in our primate ancestry.

The first observation, giving the title to the book, is that eons of natural selection gave us the ability to make a fast reaction to a novel situation. Survival depended on it. So, if we hear an unnatural noise in the bushes, our tendency is to run. Thinking slow, applying human logic, we might reflect that it is probably Johnny coming back from the Girl Scout camp across the river bringing cookies, and that running might not be the best idea. However, fast thinking is hardwired.

The first part of the book is dedicated to a description of the two systems, the fast and slow system. Kahneman introduces them in his first chapter as system one and system two.

Chapter 2 talks about the human energy budget. Thinking is metabolically expensive; 20 percent of our energy intake goes to the brain. Moreover, despite what your teenager tells you, dedicating energy to thinking about one thing means that energy is not available for other things. Since slow thinking is expensive, the body is programmed to avoid it.

Chapter 3 expands on this notion of the lazy controller. We don't invoke our slow thinking, system two machinery unless it is needed. It is expensive. As an example, try multiplying two two-digit numbers in your head while you are running. You will inevitably slow down.
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2,517 of 2,799 people found the following review helpful By Arden R. Hall on November 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The kindle version of this excellent book is disappointing. Several features of the book are confusing in the ebook because the formatting is so poor. Tables with two columns run together because they are not boxed and the columns are only separated by one space. There are questions at the end of each chapter whose purpose is unclear until you see them in the real book, where they are set off in a box with a different type face. Most disappointing is the handling of the footnotes - they are relegated to the back of the book with no page number reference. There is few word phrase in the notes that corresponds to the place in the text to which the note refers, but it is up to the reader to scan the chapter to find the reference. The book reads like a mechanical translation of the physical book into a new format, with no effort taken to edit and format appropriately. So the reader loses. With the price of the ebook almost as much as the real book, you will be happier if you buy the real thing.
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An Amazon.com official commented on this review(What's this?)
Thank you for your review. The unlinked end notes in the Kindle book have been corrected. We can also confirm that the charts, graphs, and text are easy to read and have been formatted similarly to the print version of the book.

You can get the updated version of this book sent directly to your Kindle device or app through by the "Manage Your Content and Devices" section of your Amazon account (you can also get there by navigating to https://www.amazon.com/mycd). Once you're there, click on the "Actions" button next to this book and select "Update this title".
682 of 763 people found the following review helpful By Monica Andrews on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Daniel Kahneman may have won his Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, but his work was psychological in nature as it challenged the rational model of judgment and decision-making. He's considered one of the most important psychologists alive today, and this book doesn't disappoint with its breakthrough approach to understanding the "machinery of the mind."

Kahneman introduces two mental systems, one that is fast and the other slow. Together they shape our impressions of the world around us and help us make choices. System 1 is largely unconscious and it makes snap judgments based upon our memory of similar events and our emotions. System 2 is painfully slow, and is the process by which we consciously check the facts and think carefully and rationally. Problem is, System 2 is easily distracted and hard to engage, and System 1 is wrong as often as it is right. System 1 is easily swayed by our emotions. Examples he cites include the fact that pro golfers are more accurate when putting for par than they are for birdie (regardless of distance), and people buy more cans of soup when there's a sign on the display that says "Limit 12 per customer."

There are lots of interesting anecdotes as well as layman's summaries of psychological research that will leave you feeling fascinated by the brain. The book has 38 chapters broken into five sections. I've listed some of the chapter titles for each section to give you a feel for what it's about:

PART ONE - TWO SYSTEMS
1. The Characters of the Story
2. Attention and Effort
3. The Lazy Controller
4. A Machine for Jumping to Conclusions
5. How Judgments Happen

PART TWO - HEURISTICS AND BIASES
6. The Law of Small Numbers
7. Availability, Emotion, and Risk
8. Tom W's Specialty
9.
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