Dan Kahneman

We can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.

When people believe a conclusion is true, they are also very likely to believe arguments that appear to support it, even when these arguments are unsound.

One thought on “Dan Kahneman

  1. shinichi Post author

    Thinking, Fast and Slow

    by Daniel Kahneman

    “A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”

    “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it”

    “Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”

    “The psychologist, Paul Rozin, an expert on disgust, observed that a single cockroach will completely wreck the appeal of a bowl of cherries, but a cherry will do nothing at all for a bowl of cockroaches.”

    “Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed.”

    “The idea that the future is unpredictable is undermined every day by the ease with which the past is explained.”

    “I have always believed that scientific research is another domain where a form of optimism is essential to success: I have yet to meet a successful scientist who lacks the ability to exaggerate the importance of what he or she is doing, and I believe that someone who lacks a delusional sense of significance will wilt in the face of repeated experiences of multiple small failures and rare successes, the fate of most researchers.”

    “A general “law of least effort” applies to cognitive as well as physical
    exertion. The law asserts that if there are several ways of achieving the
    same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course
    of action. In the economy of action, effort is a cost, and the acquisition of
    skill is driven by the balance of benefits and costs. Laziness is built deep into our nature.”

    “A reliable way of making people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.”

    “Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.”

    “If you care about being thought credible and intelligent, do not use complex language where simpler language will do.”

    “This is the essence of intuitive heuristics: when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.”

    “The confidence that individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell about what they see, even if they see little.”

    “Mood evidently affects the operation of System 1: when we are uncomfortable and unhappy, we lose touch with our intuition.
    These findings add to the growing evidence that good mood, intuition, creativity, gullibility, and increased reliance on System 1 form a cluster. At the other pole, sadness, vigilance, suspicion, an analytic approach, and increased effort also go together. A happy mood loosens the control of System 2 over performance: when in a good mood, people become more intuitive and more creative but also less vigilant and more prone to logical errors.”

    “You are more likely to learn something by finding surprises in your own behavior than by hearing surprising facts about people in general.”

    “We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events.”

    “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it.”

    “People tend to assess the relative importance of
    issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory—and this is
    largely determined by the extent of coverage in the media. Frequently
    mentioned topics populate the mind even as others slip away from
    awareness. In turn, what the media choose to report corresponds to their
    view of what is currently on the public’s mind. It is no accident that
    authoritarian regimes exert substantial pressure on independent media.
    Because public interest is most easily aroused by dramatic events and by
    celebrities, media feeding frenzies are common”

    “we can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.”

    “The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.”

    “acquisition of skills requires a regular environment, an adequate opportunity to practice, and rapid and unequivocal feedback about the correctness of thoughts and actions.”

    “Familiarity breeds liking.”

    “The test of learning psychology is whether your understanding of situations you encounter has changed, not whether you have learned a new fact.”

    “The world makes much less sense than you think. The coherence comes mostly from the way your mind works.”

    “We focus on our goal, anchor on our plan, and neglect relevant base rates, exposing ourselves to the planning fallacy. We focus on what we want to do and can do, neglecting the plans and skills of others. Both in explaining the past and in predicting the future, we focus on the causal role of skill and neglect the role of luck. We are therefore prone to an illusion of control. We focus on what we know and neglect what we do not know, which makes us overly confident in our beliefs.”

    “Because we tend to be nice to other people when they please us and nasty when they do not, we are statistically punished for being nice and rewarded for being nasty.”

    “We are prone to blame decision makers for good decisions that worked out badly and to give them too little credit for successful moves that appear obvious only after the fact.”

    “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking of it.”

    “The premise of this book is that it is easier to recognize other people’s mistakes than our own.”


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