Sunday, April 19, 2020

Thinking Fast and Slow Report

“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman explores the thought process of all humans.
Kahneman goes into detail about what is believed to be the 2 basic thinking processes: fast and slow.
Fast thinking is what we do immediately. There is no stopping or thinking while using these heuristics.
Fast thinking is a product of system 1. Slow thinking is reflective and deep, but it takes effort.
In order to think slow, one must steer their brain in that direction. System 2 is responsible for slow thinking.
Kahneman describes the concept of illusions of remembering. The example he provides is 3
names of people that are not famous, therefore you should not recognize the names. However, he
explains that if you were to hear those names within the next week and are asked to decide whether the
name is of a random person or a minor celebrity, you are likely to choose the latter option. This is
because, while you lack any other information about this person, you subconsciously recognize the
name. Illusions of remembering fall under the chapter of the book relating to cognitive ease. More
specifically, since you have familiarity with the name, it is easy for your brain to remember the name as
carrying some weight.
Humans have a tendency for jumping to conclusions. We do not see ambiguity when we
cancel all doubt that other solutions exist. The book goes into depth about how we fail to see ambiguity
when we think we can trust our first glance. For example, take the following image:
You are likely to have read this as “A B C”, failing to see any other interpretation. However, taking a l
onger, second look would allow you to see it actually also can be read “A 13 C”. Therefore, it is shown
that without slow thinking, we miss ambiguity and jump straight to the more logical interpretation based
on context.
Kahneman discusses the idea of a 3D heuristic, where our perception of a 3D image being
translated to a 2D image skews our judgement. For example, take a look at the following image.

Instantly, you see the men are increasing in size from left to right. Your mind sees the man on the far right as the largest. However, this is incorrect, as all 3 men are the same size. The reason we make this mistake is because in a 3D setting, the man on the far right would be the largest. Our brains make the error of applying perception from a 3D standpoint to a 2D standpoint.
In conclusion, “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman explains interesting patterns in all of our
brains. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the first 2 sections of the book dealing with heuristics,
biases, and the 2 thought systems more than the rest of the book, but I believe this is because the
concepts were new and less repetitive in the beginning. However, I would recommend reading the
entire book, as even the end contained new, interesting information. It will make you rethink
everything you have ever thought, as well as shape your thinking in the future. Slow thinking has
never been as easy as since I started this book.

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