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This is an important book from an important scholar. Winner (along with his late colleague, Amos Tversky) of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics--for work on decision making--Kahneman (emer., psychology, Princeton; public affairs, Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs) practically invented the discipline of behavioral economics and more generally transformed the entire approach to the psychology of decision making. This book makes, among many other things, two major contributions. First, Kahneman provides a substantial review and synthesis of the body of research he did with Tversky. Second, he explicates, and organizes the work around, his recent model of ways of thinking: system 1--fast, intuitive, emotional; system 2--slower, more deliberative, logical. Kahneman explores the consequences of this distinction in a variety of domains. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. R. Levine California State University--Fresno

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Decision making tends to be intuitive rather than logical. Kahneman has dedicated his academic research to understanding why that is so. This work distills his and colleagues' findings about how we make up our minds and how much we can trust intuition. Clinical experiments on psychology's traditional guinea pigs college students abound and collectively batter confidence in System 1. as Kahneman calls intuition. All sorts of biases, sporting tags like the halo effect (i.e., unwarranted attribution of positive qualities to a thing or person one likes), bedevil accurate appraisal of reality. According to Kahneman, intuitive feelings often override System 2. or thinking that requires effort, such as simple arithmetic. Exemplifying his points in arenas as diverse as selecting military officers, speculating in stocks, hiring employees, and starting up businesses, Kahneman accords some reliability to intuitive choice, as long as the decision maker is aware of cognitive illusions (the study of which brought Kahneman the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics). Kahneman's insights will most benefit those in leadership positions yet they will also help the average reader to become a better car buyer.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2010 Booklist

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Kahneman (psychology, emeritus, Princeton) won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work with Amos Tversky on decision making. In this large, readable book, Kahneman presents provocative theories and groundbreaking research and, moreover, clearly explains both. He postulates two systems of thinking that operate simultaneously but often at odds: intuitive and deliberative, or fast and slow, respectively. Fast judgments dominate to a greater extent than we know and to our disadvantage. A key discovery that overcame an effect Kahneman terms "theory induced blindness" (which refers mainly to fast-thinking mistakes but can occur in slow thinking when our assumptions are wrong or simply interfere with seeing) was that outcomes are better defined by gains and losses than by sums of wealth. "Prospect theory," an idea Kahneman developed with Tversky, posits that, when all our options are bad, we tend to take riskier paths. With Kahneman's expert help, readers may understand this mix of psychology and economics better than most accountants, therapists, or elected representatives. VERDICT A stellar accomplishment, a book for everyone who likes to think and wants to do it better. [See Prepub Alert, 5/9/11]-E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.