Thinking Fast and Slow Review

Melchor Tatlonghari

I've always loved books about psychology and overall further understanding the way we think. I feel like the more we understand how our brains operates and what are the biases that influences us the better prepared we are to face the realities of the world. How if we say 'yes' to simple request from a car salesman like "do you want to take a seat?" opens you up to more subsequent larger requests, that soon ends up paying more for a car that you were hesitant to buy in the first place.

Daniel Kahneman, probably one of the greatest psychologist of all time, bring to light that we actually have two modes of thinking. System 1 and System 2, one automatic response and one slow deliberate one. How our near-instantenous System 1 thinking is always at play for instances when we for example touch a burning pan, we don't pause and think about what to do. Our brain, our system 1, just goes into action mode and prevents our hand from incurring more burns.

What we are not aware of are our intrinsic biases that govern our System 1 thinking, like how we are more sensitive to losing rather than gaining something and how we make stupid decisions to further lessen our losses (see gambling). That's called Loss Aversion.

Another heuristic mentioned is Hindsight Bias, when after the fact, everything seems to obvious. How everyone sees that it's an obvious mistake after the consequences are laid bare, but before the fact everyone seems to be oblivious to it. "yeah, maybe I shouldn't have invest all my life savings to Doge Coin, it's obviously just a meme"

Kahneman further dives into a number of different biases and heuristics that we all currently have, enabling you to learn more about yourself than any other psychology books out there.

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Favourite Qoutes from the Book

- This remarkable priming phenomenon - the influencing of an action by the idea - is known as the ideomotor effect.  - Mood evidently affects the operation of System 1: when we are uncomfortable and unhappy, we lose touch with our intuition.  - A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.  - This is the essence of intuitive heuristics: when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.  - The gorilla study illustrates two important facts about our minds: we can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.  - Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed.  - The general theme of these findings is that the idea of money primes individualism: a reluctance to be involved with others, to depend on others, or to accept demands from others.  -  People tend to assess the relative importance of issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory - and this is largely determined by the extent of coverage in the media.  - "The situation has provided a cue; this cue has given the expert access to information stored in memory, and the information provides the answer. Intuition is nothing more and nothing less than recognition."  - The best we can do is a compromise: learn to recognize situations in which mistakes are likely and try harder to avoid significant mistakes when the stakes are high. The premise of this book is that it is easier to recognize other people's mistakes than our own.