Thinking, Fast and Slow

The guru to the gurus at last shares his knowledge with the rest of us. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman’s seminal studies in behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, and happiness studies have influenced numerous other authors, including Steven Pinker and Malcolm Gladwell. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman at last offers his own, first book for the general public. It is a lucid and enlightening summary of his life’s work. It will change the way you think about thinking.

Two systems drive the way we think and make choices, Kahneman explains: System One is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System Two is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Examining how both systems function within the mind, Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities as well as the biases of fast thinking and the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and our choices. Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, he shows where we can trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking, contrasting the two-system view of the mind with the standard model of the rational economic agent.

Kahneman’s singularly influential work has transformed cognitive psychology and launched the new fields of behavioral economics and happiness studies. In this path-breaking book, Kahneman shows how the mind works, and offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and personal lives–and how we can guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.

Reviews

A New York Times Book Review Best Book
A Globe and Mail Best Book

“I will never think about thinking quite the same. [Thinking, Fast and Slow] is a monumental achievement.”
—Roger Lowenstein, Bloomberg/Businessweek

“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
 
“[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
 
“[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
 
“The ramifications of Kahenman’s work are wide, extending into education, business, marketing, politics … and even happiness research. Call his field “psychonomics,” the hidden reasoning behind our choices. Thinking, Fast and Slow is essential reading for anyone with a mind.”
—Kyle Smith, The New York Post
 
“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; Author of The Social Animal
 
“Kahneman provides a detailed, yet accessible, description of the psychological mechanisms involved in making decisions.”
—Jacek Debiec, Nature
 
“With Kahneman’s expert help, readers may understand this mix of psychology and economics better than most accountants, therapists, or elected representatives. VERDICT: A stellar accomplishment, a book for everyone who likes to think and wants to do it better.”
Library Journal

“Kahneman’s extraordinary contribution to humanity’s cerebral growth [has] reached the mainstream—in the best way possible.”
The Atlantic
 
Thinking, Fast and Slow is a magisterial work, stunning in its ambition, infused with knowledge, laced with wisdom, informed by modesty and deeply humane. If you can read only one book this year, read this one.”
The Globe and Mail
 
“[In Thinking, Fast and Slow] We learn why we mistake statistical noise for coherent patterns; why the stock-picking of well-paid investment advisers and the prognostications of pundits are worthless; why businessmen tend to be both absurdly overconfident and unwisely risk-averse; and why memory affects decision making in counterintuitive ways. Kahneman’s primer adds to recent challenges to economic orthodoxies about rational actors and efficient markets; more than that, it’s a lucid, marvelously readable guide to spotting–and correcting–our biased misunderstandings of the world.”
Publishers’ Weekly (starred review)

“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

“The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them… . Gripping. Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow deals with the very nature of thought, and it just may be the most important book I’ve read in many years…”
Los Angeles Review of Books


“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

“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, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago; co-author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics.

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, Harvard University Professor of Psychology, author of Stumbling on Happiness, host of the award-winning PBS television series “This Emotional Life”

“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, University of Chicago Professor of Economics and co-author of Nudge

“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 Taleb, author of The Black Swan

“Daniel Kahneman is among the most influential psychologists in history and certainly the most important psychologist alive today. He has a gift for uncovering remarkable features of the human mind, many of which have become textbook classics and part of the conventional wisdom. His work has reshaped social psychology, cognitive science, the study of reason and of happiness, and behavioral economics, a field that he and his collaborator Amos Tversky helped to launch. The appearance of Thinking, Fast and Slow is a major event.”
—Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Better Angels of our Nature