You Shouldn’t Always Believe What You Think: 4 Essential Lessons From The Book Thinking, Fast, and Slow

Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner in psychology, explains our brain's decision-making process and offers tips on making better decisions.

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Bitely Team
Last update:calendarApr 20, 2024
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You Shouldn’t Always Believe What You Think: 4 Essential Lessons From The Book Thinking, Fast, and Slow

Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner in psychology, explains our brain's decision-making process and offers tips on how we can make better decisions.


Have you ever wondered what goes through your mind during decision-making? Why does your brain form an instant judgment about a person? Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist who has all these answers. In 2002, Kahneman's research into the way people think in such situations earned him the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.


Kahneman's book combines years of research to explain how our brains make judgments and decisions and why they are often wrong.


Key Point 1: Thinking Comes in Two Forms


It is expected to think that thinking is something that our brains do, although two systems are at work behind the curtain, battling for dominance.  


According to Kahneman, the first system is impulsive and automatic, while the second is calculated and deliberate.


System 1 is vital to our survival as a remnant of our past. For example, running away from a car that honks at you without having to think is pretty useful.


System 2 helps you exercise self-control and consciously focus your attention. For example, when you meet a friend and are trying to locate them in a crowd, you use this system because it helps you remember how they look and filters out all the other people.


What system your brain is using determines your actions, thoughts, and behaviors.


Key Point 2: Your Brain Consumes Energy at Both High and Low Levels


Kahneman explains the different levels of energy our brains use during various activities. 


For instance, if a task requires little energy, we will use system 1, a state of cognitive ease. In contrast, if we need much energy and attention, we will use system 2, a state of mental strain.


Cognitive ease increases our intuition, creativity, and happiness but also increases the likelihood of making mistakes. On the other hand, system 2 limits our creativity, but our awareness increases, and we are less likely to make mistakes.


Key Point 3: Choose the Right System for Your Brain


The book explains the science and provides practical advice on how to use this information to improve performance.


One of Kahneman's tips involves switching between the two systems.


Look at repetitive information to get your brain to use System 1. Positive reactions are triggered in our brains after receiving repeated messages because we see no adverse effects. So, seeing something familiar puts us at ease cognitively.


If exposed to complex information, you can get your brain to use System 2. A document in a difficult-to-read type is one example. This way, your brain will become more alert and use more energy to complete the task.


Key point 4: Our Judgment is Affected by the Halo Effect


Our brains don't always tell us the truth. They operate automatically in several ways, making us judge individuals inaccurately.


It is common for the mind to oversimplify and take shortcuts while making a judgment. For instance, the potential for a favorable opinion or feeling about a person, brand, product, or company to influence one's views or feelings about other things positively is sometimes called the halo effect or halo error. 


In other words, when you have some positive impressions of someone - for example, you liked how they talked - you may automatically expect other positive traits, such as their willingness to help others. 


Would you like to find out more information about how our brain works? 


Bitely can help you with a wide range of book summaries, including those on technology, psychology, mindfulness, productivity, and more! 

In addition, we make learning portable and accessible. 


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