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Improving Your Decision Making Skills: Are You A Fast Or Slow Thinker?

Are you good at thinking on your feet? Answer the quick question at the beginning of this article to find out!
by Ben Hughes | Jan 27 2017

Think fast: A bat and ball cost $1.10, and the bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost” you think the answer was $0.10″ you take a second and do the math, you’ll see that the correct answer is $0.05. But don’t feel bad – almost everyone makes this mistake at first!

Get Better at Decision Making

We are of two minds, each useful for different things

In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman explores the two thinking systems that we use to make decisions: the fast, intuitive and unconscious system one and the slow, rational, consciously controlled system two. The first excels at quick actions, like reacting to car horns in traffic, whereas the second is used for complex reasoning tasks like math problems.

When one system is used for something that the other should handle, interesting things happen. For instance, when people first hear the bat-and-ball problem, system one jumps in and gives the apparently obvious answer based on intuition. But in fact the problem is a little more complex than it seems at first glance, which is why the correct solution requires system two.

Find out about some other quirks of human thought – like why the mere thought of money makes us less altruistic – in Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow.

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