Review of Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011)


Daniel Kahneman (writer).

Read in 2023.

Human judgement in two different modes of thinking, with pitfalls to look out for.

Both the subject and its presentation are interesting. For example, Kahneman mentions a study in psychology concluding that people don’t learn psychology effectively from books (theory), so he explains how he wrote this book on theoretical psychology to work around the weakness of his own medium. It’s also interesting that some of the science Kahneman summarizes is shoddy, including “The Associative Machine” (chapter 4) and the predictive power of delayed gratification. In the latter case, Kahneman doesn’t put enough emphasis on trust versus cognitive ability, though he does mention it. He sometimes gets a little into the academic weeds for a popular science book, and there are plenty of other good summaries of the essential points that Kahneman himself discovered with Amos Tversky, but this remains an excellent overview of an important subject.

text non-fiction