“You Have One Minute!”—But Fast Thinking in the White House Also Means More Biases and Mistakes

The reason Biden doesn’t throw haymakers in these debates, particularly in the direction of Pete, is obvious: He’s not nimble enough to avoid counterpunches.

—Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent at Politico.

Thinking, Fast and Slow provides a comprehensive and integrated treatment of the role that two different cognitive systems play in explaining our judgments and decisions, adopting Stanovich and West’s System 1 and System 2 distinction. Daniel Kahneman explains that System 1 thinking, or the intuitive reactions and quick judgments that we rely on for most decisions, is also the process that leads to far greater biases in judgment. He also documents recent advances in how System 2, our more deliberative thought processes, can be used to dampen the negative effects of our intuitive judgments. In doing so, Kahneman clarifies a structure for understanding the processes and mechanisms that can explain when biases are most likely to appear and when we need to apply our System 2 processes to the problem at hand.

—From a review of Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Max H. Bazerman, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, in the journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

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