October 12, 2019

  "The confidence people have in their belief is not the measure of quality of evidence but of the coherence of story the mind has managed to construct"


GENRE: Non-fiction (Psychology)

PAGES: 499

AUTHOR: Daniel Kahneman


OTHER BOOKS BY AUTHOR: Attention & Efforts, Choices values & frames

RELATED BOOKS: Blink: Power of thinking without thinking, Outliers: The story of success


Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli- American psychologist. He is well known for his work in behavioral economics and decision making. In 2002 he was awarded a Nobel Prize for Behavioral Science. In 2011, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine in its list of top global thinkers. In the same year, his book Thinking Fast & Slow which summarizes much of his research was published and became a best seller. Currently, he is the professor of psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School.


Is there anything like 'thinking fast and slow' in our minds?. The book explains the imperial research of the author with his friend Amos Tversky. Though the research as generally a long discussion and baits were their students. 

The central idea of the book revolves around two frames of minds which the author named System1 & System2. These systems are quite different from each other and place a crucial part in our decision-making process. System1 is fast, instinctive and emotional while system2 is slower and logical. For understanding these two systems, the author engages the reader in games involving mental attention.  

The second section covers the fact of why people struggle in thinking statistically. Under different simulations, the author discovers, that the human mind either end up on binary conclusion or reject to do further calculations. It argues that humans subconsciously opts to think from system1 because of survival instincts that need automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, unconscious traits.


The author further takes the readers towards the discovery of tools that influences the mind and its decisions such as the anchoring effect, substitution effect, the illusion of understanding, the science of choices, and so on. These tools are explained in a dramatic way that engages readers.
Finally, the author concludes significant discovery about life that the remembering self does not care about the duration of a pleasant or unpleasant experience. Instead, it retrospectively rates an experience by the peak (or valley) of the experience, and by the way it ends. The remembering self dominated the patient's ultimate conclusion. Kahneman writes,  "I am my remembering self and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me."


My first visit to Banglore.  I had to reach my hotel from the railway station. When I asked how much will the taxi charge to New Bel road, he replied 150 rupees. After a brief discussion, we negotiated on  120 rupees. A few days later, I came to know the actual cost was just 60 rupees. This is known as Anchoring. One of the very interesting topics in the book.



It says about our tendency to be influenced by irrelevant numbers. Shown higher/lower numbers, experimental subjects gave higher/lower responses. This is an important concept to have in mind when navigating a negotiation or considering a price. 

I discovered ample of instances like this during my read. Many things happen around us that molds us towards some biasedness and we think that situations are in our control. From the daily commercial bombardment to the choices we make.  

Though it is a work of psychology and I was expecting to get bored,  but it doesn't happen. I was reading one chapter at a time. There is too much content to take it in one go. But that will vary from reader to reader. 

There a ton of knowledge you can take out from this book. Those you like nonfiction books-discussing some idea/concepts then this has to be on your list. I am not a student of psychology but if your curriculum does not include the topic that is discussed here then you are missing a lot.









  1. Author of the book is a Nobel prize winner has very good experience of daily life of human behaviour. It has been explained in two part ie system 1&2. Author tried to explain how people in prey in day to day life. Here book reviewed too fell in prey during Banglore trip. Although book must be interesting to read. One must read.

  2. Thank you. Folks need to go through with beautiful book.

  3. Interesting review. Will add this book in my to-read list.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Awesome ...this is a must read book


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