Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow – Exploring Irrationality

Thinking, Fast and Slow pic
Thinking, Fast and Slow pic
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Image: amazon.com

Serving the needs of Norwalk, Connecticut, patients, Dr. Stu Steinman maintains fellowship status in sports medicine and emergency medicine with the American College of Emergency Physicians. An avid reader, Dr. Stu Steinman particularly enjoys books that offer insight into the human condition. He counts Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of his favorite works.

A psychologist who earned the 2002 Nobel Prize in economic science, Kahneman has focused on the scope of human irrationality over the course of his career. Rather than buy into the concept of people making decisions that “maximize utility” when conditions are uncertain, Kahneman points toward the concept of “prospect theory,” and tries to understand the science of what makes people happy or sad.

In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman contrasts an intuitive mode of thinking and understanding with a deliberate, analytical mode that comes to the fore when trying to solve complex problems. Whether the issue is parking in a tight space or filling out tax forms, a key indicator of this mode of thinking, which Kahneman calls System 2, is dilated pupils. It is in going between these modes that breakdowns in rationality often occur, bringing with them biases that do not make logical sense.