Friday, July 9, 2021

Think Fast?

Many of us have heard the phrase "think fast" throughout our lives, usually followed by a friend or relative tossing an object our way.  The expectation is that we will either catch the object, which mostly elicits a positive response; or drop the object, which often is followed by some friendly brow beating.  Why has fast thinking often been related superior to slow thinking?  Quick wit is often praised with laughter, while duller responses may not even warrant an acknowledgment.  These examples may be what has driven our culture to view fast thinking as more preferable to slow thinking.  Fast thinking is often related to success on a certain level, but we rarely consider the costs involved on a cultural level.    

In our evolutional history, there is no doubt that fast thinking has often saved our lives and promoted our flourishment as a species.  In today's world however, fast thinking is often the basis of our biases and other heuristics which hold us back from cultural growth and enlightenment.  With the surge of information and media in our modern lives, it is imperative that we reconsider our thinking.  If we are to create positive change in our world we are now required to take a more critical approach when making our decisions .  The era of slow thinking is now!  I encourage you to watch this brief video which is a summary of Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast and Slow".  Kahneman is an Israeli psychologist and economist who is best know for his work in the psychology of judgement and decision making.  I hope this influences you to consider your own methods of thinking and how they may influence your beliefs.


  1. Chris,
    It is very important to be able to think quickly on your feet especially in tricky scenarios. However, it is equally as important to think about a situation slowly, and thoroughly to really make sure you do not make any mistakes. In life, we are presented with all types of situations and decisions. It depends on the type of situation in which we must think fast or slow.

  2. Chris,
    I really enjoyed reading your response pertaining to quick thinking. My whole life as an athlete, I have seen, "fast thinking," as a positive trait of mine. As I grow up, learn from courses and posts like this- I am beginning to rethink my own beliefs. I completely agree with you that in todays world, fast thinking can certainly lead to our own biases and other heuristics (as you stated) and hold us back from our own optimal growth.