Don’t Believe Everything You Think: 4 Key Lessons From The Book Thinking, Fast And Slow
Have you ever wondered what goes on in your brain when you make a decision? What about why your brain forms a snap judgment of a person? Psychologist Daniel Kahneman has the answers. In fact, in 2002, Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his research into how people think in these cases.
In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman brings together decades of research to explain how our brains make decisions and judgments, and why they’re often the wrong ones.
Want a quick and easy way to discover the ideas in this book? Turn to Blinkist. Blinkist is an app that gathers key insights from nonfiction books and shares them as 15-minute reads and listens. There are 5,500 titles to choose from across 27 categories including psychology, personal development, and entrepreneurship.
Blinkist is offering its explainer of Thinking, Fast and Slow for free on both the phone and web app. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are four key ideas from the book that show you thinking is more complicated than you think.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Thinking, Fast and Slow
- 19 min reading time
- audio version available
Key Message 1: There Are Two Types of Thinking
We often see thinking as just something our brain does, but there are actually two systems working behind the scenes, battling for control.
Kahneman explains these systems as the automatic and impulsive system 1 and the deliberate and calculating system 2. Your thoughts, actions, and behavior all depend on which system your brain is using.
Key Message 2: Your Brain Has High- and Low-Energy Consumption
Kahneman outlines how our brains use different amounts of energy depending on what we’re doing.
For example, if we don’t need much energy for a task, we’ll be in a state of cognitive ease or using system 1. If we need a lot of attention and energy, on the other hand, we’ll be in a state of cognitive strain or using system 2.
We’re more intuitive, creative, and happy when in cognitive ease, but we’re also more likely to make mistakes. And while our creativity takes a hit while using system 2, our awareness is heightened, and we’ll make fewer mistakes.
Key Message 3: Choose Which System Your Brain Uses
The book dives into the science, but there’s also actionable advice for how you can harness this information to improve your performance.
One piece of advice Kahneman shares is how you can switch between system 1 and system 2 thinking.
To get your brain into system 1, try looking at repetitive information. Our brains have evolved to react positively when a message is repeated to us, as we see nothing bad happens from it. So, when we see something familiar, we enter a state of cognitive ease.
If you want to get your brain using system 2 to solve a problem, expose yourself to information that’s presented in a complex way. This could be something in hard-to-read type, for example. Your brain will perk up and start using more energy for the task at hand.
Key Message 4: The Halo Effect Clouds Our Judgment
We can’t trust everything our brains tell us. In fact, there are quite a few automatic processes going on in our minds that can lead us to draw the wrong conclusions about people.
For example, if you know something positive about someone you just met — perhaps they were easy to talk to — you may automatically assume other positive things about the person, like that they’d be willing to donate to charity.
Your mind oversimplifies and takes shortcuts when making a judgment. This is called exaggerated emotion coherence or the halo effect.
Want to learn more key ideas like this from Thinking, Fast and Slow? Blinkist is offering its explainer of the book for free. Here’s how the app works.
A Book Explained in 15 Minutes
Thinking, Fast and Slow dives into many complex ideas about psychology and behavioral economics. But you don’t need to spend a lot of time reading to get a solid understanding of them.
Blinkist explains powerful ideas from nonfiction books in 15-minute explainers. Plus, you can read or listen to these explainers, so learning can happen when traveling to work, working out, or doing chores around the house.
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