Saturday, April 28, 2012

Thinking Fast and Slow
By Daniel Kahneman
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.  499 pgs.  Nonfiction

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman has spent an impressive and productive career discovering how the mind works.  In this hefty volume, Kahneman takes readers on a journey through our brains, explaining what science has discovered concerning what we think and why.  He explains that two systems are at work.  System 1 is quick, intuitive, and reactionary.  System 2 is methodical and logical.  These two systems work together to lead us to good as well as bad decisions.  It is the interaction of these two systems that shapes our judgment. Understanding these concepts may make us more able to achieve desired results when choices are placed before us.

Kahneman’s explanation of difficult and complicated concepts is what makes this book one of last year’s best works of nonfiction.  I found his description of the scientists and their interactions almost as fascinating as the science they collaborate to study.  Certainly not a light or quick read, but definitely an enlightening one. 

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