Chapters 9 and 10 of Thinking, Fast and Slow


I’ll be brief. The Word Press editor or my keyboard make it really easy to select all and hit backspace and I don’t want to spend another half an hour to redo this post.  So instead of analysis here is a bulleted list of items to think about.

  • System 1 does a lot of the judging.  This leads to results like facila shape affecting election results and the order of adjectives affecting our impression of someone or something described in writing.
  • The brain does better at finding a median or typical object than a sum or mean of an object’s property.
  • The brain can translate from one scale to a completely different one with ease.  A reader at age 4 might go with a six foot ten inches tall man in that both are rare, but not exceptionally extraordinary.  Kahnemann promises to show how this can cause problems in statistical arguments later in the book.
  • The brain will try to solve an easier question that that posed. So, maybe it will just judge the interview when looking to hire the best person for a job.  Also, if you ask a specific question before a general questions (How many dates have you been on in the last month?  How happy are you?) the first question will impact the result of the second question.  When the general question is asked first the effect is not seen.

Obviously the fact that summing is hard since it involves system 2 is relavent to math, but most mathematical thinking requires system 2 anyway.  Being careful to choose whether or not to to ask a leading, specific question before a more general question on an assessment is a good takeaway form this, however.

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