Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds

Cover image for The undoing project : a friendship that changed our minds
The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds
by Michael Lewis
W.W. Norton & Company, 2017, 362 pages, Non-Fiction

In a follow-up to his best-selling book Moneyball, Michael Lewis dives even deeper into the human psyche, exploring the psychology behind how people make decisions, and how our gut instinct is usually wrong. The psychologists who pioneered this method of thinking, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, spent much of their lives exploring this theory together. Lewis tells the story of these two highly influential psychologists, and the effect their work has had on the way we view decision-making today.

One of Michael Lewis’ strengths is telling a factual story in a narrative style. The reader joins Kahneman and Tversky on their journey as they dig further and further into their theories about how people make decisions. Lewis includes examples of questions these scientists asked their test subjects, and it was interesting to catch myself making the same mistakes everyone else did. Interviews with those who knew Kahneman and Tversky also fleshed out the story to make these two brilliant men more relatable.

Oddly, it wasn’t until I got to the notes at the end of the book that I found out Kahneman has written his own book about the research he and Tversky have done. While Lewis focuses on the story of Kahneman and Tversky’s collaboration, those who are more interested in the theories Khaneman and Tversky came up with will probably enjoy Thinking, Fast and Slow.


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