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BOOK REVIEW Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman (Book Review/Discussion)

How do you RATE Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman? (READERS ONLY!)

  • 5-stars (Great!)

    Votes: 7 35.0%
  • 4-stars (Good!)

    Votes: 7 35.0%
  • 3-stars (OK)

    Votes: 5 25.0%
  • 2-stars (Below Average)

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • 1-star (Poor)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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MJ DeMarco

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Our next book to discuss!

Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives―and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.





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Rating:

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Format:
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Favorite part:
Lorem Ipsum

Key takeaways:

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Dislike
Lorem Ipsum
 

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Bertram

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Our next book to discuss!

Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives―and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.




PLEASE USE THIS FORMAT TO REVIEW!

Rating:

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

Format:
Book

Favorite Part:
Will review in five sections.
Part One.
Key takeaways:

Preface: this book is a goldmine. It will change your thinking patterns and actually make your life funnier and happier. Consider this a 512+ page reading challenge for the mind and soul.

But here's the key to the maze: you have to imagine Kahneman for what he is, a hilarious, fun-loving soul. But it's not a book on humor. He has such a playful attitude toward life, it's what drove all his research and productivity. All his questions are inspired by a laughing, "Hey, but what about this?"

If you can read that attitude between these lines, this will be one of the most interesting books you have ever read.

The two systems he refers to don't really exist, according to K, they are just ways to refer to two kinds of mental attitudes.

System One , Fast, refers to various automatic systems which use empirical experience - knowledge based on direct experience. This includes anything from fighting a fire inside a building engulfed in flames, to math, social interactions, knowing when to water crops, or when someone is actually attracted to you - assuming that all these insights are 100% correct.

System Two, Slow, refers to the thoughts or mental acts in which you use biased thinking, over-simplified reasoning, or artificial, learned systems using your short-term memory to get information that is good enough to keep you safe and comfortable for the time being. That can help you process gossip, rough-estimate a ROI in your head, or decide what to wear to work. It's built to be biased toward your attitude, but almost no one in Western societies realizes this. (Of course comedians have the edge here because they look for this kind of thinking and pull it apart.)

K's stated purpose is to make you aware, because he is actually a very humble sort of Nobel Prize winner. But learning to notice when you apply System One v. System Two can make you much freer, more powerful, and more likely to laugh at situations.

Keep in mind that K did not put too much energy into individual differences, so some of the examples here really don't hold water at all. But that's OK because he wants you to sort how your own mind works into the two systems. For example, he states that you can't walk while trying to do 4 digit multiplication in your head, but you can listen and intensely understand complex ideas. But that is completely the opposite situation for some people, based on their own empirical experience. So take the distinctions given with a healthy dose of self-reflection.

K also outlines how System Two thinking is prevalent and is used to mislead the masses.

This post is a just a conversation starter. Grab it on Kindle. Don't miss the health opportunity in making this your big read, five pages a day, because it will save you a month in a Buddhist monastery and travel costs, and besides it's going to teach you how to be a funny, free soul.

coming soon
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Dislike
See above. Not dislikeable, but K. sometimes uses examples that do not account for individual differences.
 
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Strategery

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Listening to this now, will report back.
 

ChrisV

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I'm the one who nominated this, so I want to go back and reread to give it a full review. It's been a while. But this book is a Psychology classic. Much of what we know about cognitive biases comes from Kahneman.

For his research in this area, he won the Nobel Prize for Economics, despite the fact that he's a research psychologist, lol.

This book is a great way to realize how flawed human decision-making is and start make more rational and informed decisions.

A similar idea is Philip Tetlock's Fox/Hedgehog metaphor and Jonathan Haidt's Elephant/Rider metaphor


 

Frank H.

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Interesting choice! I'm currently reading "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind", however, I am looking forward to listening to this one in the future.
 

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Interesting choice! I'm currently reading "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind", however, I am looking forward to listening to this one in the future.
This is an awesome book! Are you enjoying it?
 

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I have only read half of this book, it was interesting but I have to be honest, I found it quite dry at times. I need to give it another go. Interesting fact though, my husband went to a behavioural economics seminar and the speaker said that the Chimp Paradox was based on the theory behind this book. The Chimp Paradox for me was much easier to grasp, visualise and apply to my life, it helps my children too. If you are interested in this book but want something easier to consume I’d recommend giving the Chimp a go.
 

ChrisV

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Is anyone reading this book currently? The book received 25+ votes and I can't tell if people are reading it or if they're just waiting until they're finished. Maybe we can discuss the book even if you're not finished? Then once people are done they can post their full review.
 

Frank H.

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It was an enjoyable read! I learned about the importance of declarations over affirmations and actions that I should take to be wealthy. :smile:
 

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I'm still reading this. It's a slow read to take in everything but it's fascinating ! It's good to know about our biases. I can apply these to every area of my life.
 

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Is anyone reading this book currently? The book received 25+ votes and I can't tell if people are reading it or if they're just waiting until they're finished. Maybe we can discuss the book even if you're not finished? Then once people are done they can post their full review.
i'm listening to it in English on my commute (slowlane here ;-) ) and reading in Dutch when I have some time at home, love it so far and I really like the subject. but at 20+hrs / 522 pages i'll be happy if I can leave a full review by the end of the month! But a good idea @ChrisV to make a start with the review and add to it as I go through the book. Will post a part soon.
 
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Koen_88

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I'm not a native English speaker, I can understand it fluently and speak English quite well, some sentences maybe sound odd to you as I'm translating some things in my head ;-)

Rating:
wil leave that for the end

Format:
Audible (English) + Book (in Dutch)

Favorite Part:
Will review sections.
Part One.
Chapters:
1. The Characters of a Story
2. Attention and Effort
3. The Lazy Controller

Key takeaways
:

1. The Characters of a Story
We are introduced to a frame of thinking upon which te rest of the book builds forward. It's stated that system one and 2 aren't professionally valid names. He also used the terms "automatic System 1 and the effortful System 2" I think those are terms to be held in mind (although that would require some effort wile reading ;) ). Kahneman also introduces some examples/experiments how to show you how the 2 systems work/interact. This made clear to me that even when you know your mind is tricking you,(when you are aware of a cognitive bias) ,you still see the same thing. He illustrates this with the Müller-Lyer illusion.

2. Attention and Effort
This chapter is full with more experiments, where oyu have to calculate / add numbers in your head. And shows the effect what this has on your choices/behaviour/concentration. This is also shown in pupil dilation, where some tasks the pupils of test persons dilate around 50%! He mentions an experiment called "The Invisible Gorilla" where researchers made a gorilla "invisible"... offcourse not literaly. People were asked to count the number of times basketball players with white shirts pass the ball, they fail quite a lot in noticing a person in a gorilla suit who appears in the center of the image

Kahneman says "The most effortful forms of slow thinking are those that require you to think fast"
So if you are aware of that bias and go over your work/decision on a later moment in time where you search your memory more deliberately. Or maybe you can even use it in your favor for clever marketing/persuasion/negotiating plans.

3. The Lazy Controller
Here kahneman talks about ego depletion. This explains that your self control is tiring en can be depleted. If you have to force yourself to do things, you have less self control with the next challenge. He makes his point with some more experiments. I've read about this before, other books (dont know which ones, sorry) also refer to self control as a muscle, and that it can be trained but also relies on glucose to function. Kahneman also mentions this including a shocking (for me) demonstration where parole judges in israel granted parole to about 65% after each food break, the conlusion in this is that when you are tired and hungry you make the easier choice (exerting the least effort). So he goes on and Calls system to "The Lazy System 2" or the Lazy controller. So system 2 is to monitor/control suggestions of system 1, but is lazy in the choices it makes in this proces.
 

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ChrisV

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We are truly incapable of seeing reality for what it is.
Yep. It's actually quite terrifying.

The human brain is all but incapable of objectivity. This is why I chose Data Science as a field. We simply can't trust our own judgement. "Men lie, women lie, numbers don't." The human mind simply isn't build to objectively assess the world. It's build for hunting, gathering resources, warfare and mating. It's not build for doing science and math and understanding life objectively.

But the good news is, humans are tool builders; and we can build tools to compensate for our deficiencies.

Steve Jobs: “I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders. I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. And, humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing, about a third of the way down the list. It was not too proud a showing for the crown of creation. So, that didn’t look so good. But, then somebody at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And, a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts.”

And I think that data, science and more recently: AI, are becoming tools for objectively assessing the world. Computers don't have political ideologies (unless the bias is baked in) and they don't have the same weird irrationalities we have.

I think that Thinking Fast and Slow is an essential tool in this "objective thinking" toolkit. I think they're all tools for rational thinking. Some cool links:

 

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Rating:
:star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

Format:
Audiobook (once) and Paperback (multiple times)

Favorite part:
I love the fact that this book presents clear scientific evidence that all humans are irrational. People don't think. We are emotional creatures that use pseudo-logic to defend our emotions. We are predictably irrational.

Key takeaways:
  • People don't think as much as they believe they do. System 1 (aka the subconscious) controls most of our behavior. System 1 is the boss.
  • System 1 (aka the subconscious) never shuts off, never gets tired, is very fast, uses shortcuts, uses biases, and is very error prone.
  • System 1 (aka the subconscious) is driven by emotion. System 2 often creates stories and uses pseudo-logic to defend the thoughts created by System 1.
  • As an entrepreneur, persuading your customer's System 1 is truly like using the Force. It can be used for good or it can be used for evil.
  • Heuristics for entrepreneurs
    • Emotions over Logic
    • Association
    • Priming
    • Cognitive Ease
    • Stories over Statistics
    • Anchoring
    • Prospect Theory
    • Framing
    • So many more
  • The key takeaways from this book would be a book in itself. The Heath Brothers have four books. Each book addresses just one aspect of the research presented in Thinking Fast and Slow.
Dislike
  • Very dense reading. Written by an academic for academics.
  • He doesn't offer any tangible solutions for behavior change.
  • Other authors like the Heath Brothers and Dan Ariely and David McRaney amongst others, make Kahneman's research much more accessible and palatable than he can.
 

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The human brain is all but incapable of objectivity. This is why I chose Data Science as a field. We simply can't trust our own judgement. "Men lie, women lie, numbers don't." The human mind simply isn't build to objectively assess the world. It's build for hunting, gathering resources, warfare and mating. It's not build for doing science and math and understanding life objectively.
@ChrisV, you're right.

Ray Dalio has used data science and computer algorithms to become one of the wealthiest men in the world.

Peter Thiel, amongst others, is also very bullish on using data science to eliminate subjectivity from human decision making.
 
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MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

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Question for those that read this book.

I have an audible credit and don't want to waste it on a highly academic book.

Books that are highly academic (Nassim Taleeb comes to mind) I can't stand reading, much less listening to. I never finish them and they are increibly dry, despite any relayed info. Most of them seem like they are written to peacock for other academicians, not for the average person.

@Koen_88 and @ChrisV

Anytime I try to convince people that they can't trust their mind, I show them the Invisible Gorilla video and this video below:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-lN8vWm3m0


We are truly incapable of seeing reality for what it is.
Wow, that's insane.
 

ChrisV

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I have an audible credit and don't want to waste it on a highly academic book.
Try the sample. I found it useful though, but I like dry material.
 

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I have an audible credit and don't want to waste it on a highly academic book.
Also you can always return it if you don't like it, I believe.
 

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Question for those that read this book.

I have an audible credit and don't want to waste it on a highly academic book.

Books that are highly academic (Nassim Taleeb comes to mind) I can't stand reading, much less listening to. I never finish them and they are increibly dry, despite any relayed info. Most of them seem like they are written to peacock for other academicians, not for the average person.
well your description does come quite close, there's quite some dry academic info in there, but he does combine it with a bit of humor and good examples/experiments to make things clear. I have it on audible and will definitely listen to it again in the future (not finished yet though). He explains in the introduction what his mind setting is in which readers can benefit from the book, and goes on that he provides a richer and more precise language to discuss the contents of the book.

I've attachted the introduction in a PDF, that shows partly the used vocabulary and his goal of this book.

Also you can always return it if you don't like it, I believe.
that's correct, they do have quite relaxed return policies
 

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really really good book and i can see the value, but: it doesnt...i dont... just i dont enjoy it...for some reason. i have the book both in hard copy and on audible.

does this annoyance come from resistance or that i am an idiot? i dont know.

will definately re-read.
 

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27894 27895 27896 27897 27899

Format:

AudioBook

Favorite Part:
2nd half of the book dealing with positivity, stock broker research, hiring implications

Key takeaways:

This is a hard one to review I got it on audible...I have 9 hours left...I have gotten a few gold nuggets out of it but its been a bit painful of a listen. One thing I do recommend to you guys for audible its a bit of a hard listen since there are alot of examples and imagery he used in the actual book, it can be hard to keep up with some of his examples and experiments to try.

So far I have gotten some good nuggets about attention that although I did read in other books like Deep work, the millionaire morning and the slight edge...it does go into more detail and shows the actual experiments and science behind it. I do love hearing the actual experiments and science that made these theories... I think if you cut out the words "system one" "and system two" out of this book it would take about 5 hours off of the book out and im not exaggerating hehe.

Also a great chapter on anchoring and how for example if you were to ask someone how old was Ghandi when he died vs isnt it true Ghandi was 100 when he died...then ask the second group how old Ghandi was they will always give higher numbers. The same with judges and lawyers arguing lower sentences. This is a piece that i found extremely valuable for anchoring in business or negotiation and I hadent heard it before except for in Influence in a different way but not quite as elaborated.

Overall for the 11 hours I have into it, I think its an interesting book, but I would be scared to recommend it to anyone that isnt a hardcore reader/ study fan.

Edit. Oct 6th - Finished the book

Okay now that i have gone through it and made some notes I can say the second half is much more interesting and going through notes I really appreciate this book much more. There are so many golf nuggets. The only thing is it could of been split into multiple books for easier digestion.

Some amazing points on ego depletion (high cognitive activities) can lower inhibitions later on like buying from late commercial. Alll these forms of voluntary effort draw from a shared pool of mental energy even stifling your emotions during a sad film will lessen you physical stamina later, and memorizing seven digits makes subjects more likely to yield to bad deserts. This is just an example, I could go on about the great notes I have here...lots of takeaways and I can tell alot of the business and selfhelp books take from this book.

Dislike:

Big read, some dry scientific parts, no recommendations on applying the research(though you can tell many books have taken this research and make recommendations with it I.E, Deep work, Miracle morning, slight edge.
 

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luniac

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this book is a chore, its so dense with different studies and psychological discoveries.
Im about 1/3 done and am gonna push to the end for the sake of the book club lol

I do think its more enjoyably written than the "influence" book but man its still dry and academic.

The Chris Voss persuasion book was a joy to read in comparison.
 

luniac

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Take off 1 star because this book is a textbook disguised as a regular book.
Take off another star because sometimes i got feeling this author is more "book smart" than "street smart" VS the previous book author "never split the difference" Chris Voss who developed the theories in the field.
My eyes glazed over so many times while reading this book, i mean it is DRY! a dry a$$ book...

At the same time though, some of the experiments did raise my eyebrows.

Rating:
:star: :star: :star:

Format:
book

Favorite part:
An eyebrow raising experiment.
Some college students were split into 2 groups, one group was asked about their dating life and one group wasn't.
Both groups were then asked how their life was going lately.

The group that was previously asked about their dating life inadvertently had their next answer greatly influenced by the previous answer.
So those who had a good dating life reported things were going real well, and vice versa.

The group that wasn't asked about their dating life didn't have that influence their answer about how things were going lately.

So the takeaway is that what's currently on your mind can greatly affect your answer without you even realizing it.

Key takeaways:

  • 1 the intuitive mind is very useful but sometimes its not and you gotta slow down and think things through
  • 2 we are influenced by things without even realizing it
  • 3 we suck at intuitively correctly understanding small variations or probability and other stuff like that
  • 4 stock brokers don't know shit? their educated guesses are no better than random guesses, and often worse actually.
  • 5 there is no such thing as being in the zone in basketball, its just a statistical variation.(man i still don't know about this...)

Dislike
This dude believes in paternal libertarianism, so the government should use all the psychological tricks in the book to influence out behavior for our own benefit.
man fuk off with that shit.

As much as some of the experiments seemed legit, at the same time its all theory still. I'm just not sure how much is reallllly real and how much is just conclusions based on weird experiments.

i honestly don't know, not sure.
all i can do is shrug my shoulders.



All these psycological books like this one and Influence by Cialdini really point to one general solution:
Slow the fuk down and take things slow all the time, this way you minimize the chances of making a stupid decision.
But hey that's ancient advice.

Roman Caesar Marcus Aurelius's favorite quote was "make haste slowly".
It's common wisdom to slow down and think things through, don't rush to judgement.
I've been trying to cultivate this in myself, we live in such a fast paced world now that it's easy to lose sight of how fast we're living. It becomes difficult to slow down and smell the roses.
 

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