Good thinking about fast and slow thinking

James just finished Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.  If you’re unfamiliar with Kahneman, he is a winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and he helped revolutionize our understanding of how people use the “non-rational” part of their minds to form judgments and make decisions.

This book is basically a summary of his life’s work and the discoveries he has made.  Unlike many scientists, he doesn’t write like a troll.  So it is mostly an easy and fascinating read.  He delves deeply into unconscious cognitive biases, framing effects, overconfidence, and use of language and symbols.

Unfortunately, there is the obligatory shot at marketers, who he implies are all somehow unethical for using these insights to their advantage.  I wonder if he feels the same way about the marketing team at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, which has done such a wonderful job of marketing this book and earning Kahneman considerable royalties?

Other than those two or three sentences of self-righteous nonsense, it’s a brilliant book.   Here are reviews from the New York Times and also from Jonah Lehrer in the Wall Street Journal.