It pains me to admit it, but I’ll never finish Thinking Fast and Slow by 2002 Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. I made a gallant effort for my book club’s sake, but just couldn’t see it through. (No one else in the NCN Book Club finished it either!)
Nonetheless, Thinking Fast and Slow is worth dipping into even if you don’t finish it. It is a thought provoking and (mostly) engaging work.
Kahneman’s central premise is that humans are less rational than we think. A lot less.
According to Kahneman, our brains have two parts, which he dubs System 1 and System 2. System 1 is fast and intuitive; System 2 is slow and analytical. When we encounter a situation, System 1 jumps to a conclusion, and System 2 slows down and thinks about it.
In theory, this sounds like an ideal partnership except that System 2 is lazy and tires easily. As a result, our brains often skip the analytical hard part and make a decision based on our severely flawed unconscious impulses.
Whether you’re selecting a dinner entrée or new office space, biases of which you may not even be aware influence your decision making.
Stuffed with interesting and surprising case studies, this book is fascinating, but it could be said in about half the number of pages. (And that book I would finish!)