daniel kahneman

daniel kahneman bw

talking about his deep friendship with Amos Tversky – we were lucky – we spent all our days talking – about everything

intuition comes from the fear ie: people are more afraid of dying by terrorists than of dying

two ways (systems) of thinking about the world – fast (intuition) and slow

1. automatic thinking – just like seeing that someone’s hair is dark – not aware of the workings of the associate memory

2. effortful thinking – have to work at it laboriously, supervise the mind/behavior – a sense of agency

most of the time we run on system 1

sometimes it’s not right – we need to know when our intuition (system 1) is prone to error

it’s not that people go to war because of reasons, people want to go to war – then they find the reasons

if system 1 is very engaged, then system 2 becomes the slave of system 1

[Bush – system 1, Obama – system 2]

subtitle to book – intuition – the marvels and the flaws

16 min – in some cases – the world is regular enough to learn from it, in others not so much

people develop intuitions, learn to read, play chess – by predictions..

21 min – nudge – you can help people make good decisions w/o forcing them

23 min – the more you have a system that is more structured, then that system can be used to second guess the decisions of people, there has been lots of interest in improving rationality, when it comes to implementation, it wanes, you are naked. how to promote rationality

looking for proper mix of intuition and rationality

25 – great question – what question do you not know the answer to that you would most like to understand

1. how happy you are in real time (mood)

2. when you think about your life – how satisfied are you with your life

would like to know – which has the bigger effect on health (well-being)



The riddle of experience vs. memory

happy in vs happy about your life

the remembering self is the one that makes decisions

distinguish between how happy you are and how happy you think you are when you stop to think about how happy you are

money and goals are important,.. spending time with people we like.. ?

happiness is not a substitute for well-being

we don’t attain to the same things when we live and when we think about how happy we are

it is very difficult to think straight about well-being

60000 /yr flat line.. money doesn’t buy you happiness. but lack of money gets you misery

find/follow Daniel:


Together with David Schkade, Kahneman developed the notion of the focusing illusion ..to explain in part the mistakes people make when estimating the effects of different scenarios on their future happiness (also known as affective forecasting, which has been studied extensively by Daniel Gilbert). The “illusion” occurs when people consider the impact of one specific factor on their overall happiness, they tend to greatly exaggerate the importance of that factor, while overlooking the numerous other factors that would in most cases have a greater impact. A good example is provided by Kahneman and Schkade’s 1998 paper “Does living in California make people happy? 

  • In 2002, Kahneman received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, despite being a research psychologist, for his work in Prospect theory. Kahneman states he has never taken a single economics course – that everything that he knows of the subject he and Tversky learned from their collaborators Richard Thaler and Jack Knetsch.

daniel kahneman site


currently reading:

thinking fast and slow

book links to amazon


notes via kindle:

thinking fast and slow notes on kindle

An experienced psychotherapist knows that she is skilled in working out what is going on in her patient’s mind and that she has good intuitions about what the patient will say next. It is tempting for her to conclude that she can also anticipate how well the patient will do next year, but this conclusion is not equally justified. Short-term anticipation and long-term forecasting are different tasks, and the therapist has had adequate opportunity to learn one but not the other.

ed.. and testing and curriculum.. no?

The unrecognized limits of professional skill help explain why experts are often overconfident.

judgments that answer the wrong question can also be made with high confidence

expert in curriculum development.

? – great example of the above.. no? thinking we really learn (best) from an extrinsically imposed/driven curriculum. even if it’s some worthy/noble topic..

This embarrassing episode remains one of the most instructive experiences of my professional life.

what if learning wrong things.. ie: on planning and rationality.. what if that learning only made sense because you were trying to come up with a curriculum to teach people with (what if that’s the problem)

But the main problem was that we failed to allow for what Donald Rumsfeld famously called the “unknown unknowns.” There was no way for us to foresee, that day, the succession of events that would cause the project to drag out for so long. The divorces, the illnesses, the crises of coordination with bureaucracies that delayed the work could not be anticipated. Such events not only cause the writing of chapters to slow down, they also produce long periods during which little or no progress is made at all.

so that’s what we change.. time between intention and action.. no?

so interesting that so many research thinking.. without (at least visibly) noting that their research is based on a man made construct – of consumerism/market-driven infested environments.. et al. like we’re confining our thoughts on thinking to behavior… predictable or not .. within these constructs.. ie: competition begs a winner and a loser.. so we assume winning and losing is a given.. and then that defines how we look at and/or perpetuate thinking… ie: ability to predict markets.. i mean there’s predicting.. and then there’s going with your gut about things that matter more than money.. we rarely observe, or even hint at the potential of observing, the later. no?

Acting on pretended knowledge is often the preferred solution.

well taught.. no? prestige via wurman et al

But of course the main reason that decision theorists study simple gambles is that this is what other decision theorists do

I can explain it only by a weakness of the scholarly mind that I have often observed in myself. I call it theory-induced blindness: once you have accepted a theory and used it as a tool in your thinking, it is extraordinarily difficult to notice its flaws. If you come upon an observation that does not seem to fit the model, you assume that there must be a perfectly good explanation that you are somehow missing. You give the theory the benefit of the doubt, trusting the community of experts who have accepted it

Investors who evaluate a start-up, lawyers who wonder whether to file a lawsuit, wartime generals who consider an offensive, and politicians who must decide whether to run for office all face the possibilities of victory or defeat

if we want to better understand our potential.. why do we focus on man made constructs…?

Loss aversion is a powerful conservative force that favors minimal changes from the status quo in the lives of both institutions and individuals

As we have seen, System 1 is much better at dealing with individuals than categories.

Closely following daily fluctuations is a losing proposition, because the pain of the frequent small losses exceeds the pleasure of the equally frequent small gains

This short example illustrates a broad story: people expect to have stronger emotional reactions (including regret) to an outcome that is produced by action than to the same outcome when it is produced by inaction.

Of course, you should be wary of joint evaluation when someone who controls what you see has a vested interest in what you choose.

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

right or wrong, people choose by memory when they decide whether or not to repeat an experience

tweet response – via  @DrJohnsonMD  – And the memory changes every time.

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

A continuous record of experience was unfortunately impossible—a person cannot live normally while constantly reporting her experiences

can we get better at that though, ie: Thad Starner ness; not just google glass ness.. how Thad uses google glass ness

Our emotional state is largely determined by what we attend to, and we are normally focused on our current activity and immediate environment

We found that French and American women spent about the same amount of time eating, but for Frenchwomen, eating was twice as likely to be focal as it was for American women. The Americans were far more prone to combine eating with other activities, and their pleasure from eating was correspondingly diluted.

The satiation level beyond which experienced well-being no longer increases was a household income of about $75,000 in high-cost areas (it could be less in areas where the cost of living is lower)

“The easiest way to increase happiness is to control your use of time. Can you find more time to do the things you enjoy doing?

Any aspect of life to which attention is directed will loom large in a global evaluation

the focusing illusion, which can be described in a single sentence: Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it.

my colleague David Schkade and I were granted research funds to study two questions: Are people who live in California happier than others? and What are the popular beliefs about the relative happiness of Californians?


We recruited large samples of students at major state universities in California, Ohio, and Michigan.

sample group? 3 states only, and those 3? and then.. that it’s just uni students.. so question is more.. what do uni students think about the state of mind of people in calif..? no?

over time, with few exceptions, attention is withdrawn from a new situation as it becomes more familiar. The main exceptions are chronic pain, constant exposure to loud noise, and severe depression. Pain and noise are biologically set to be signals that attract attention, and depression involves a self-reinforcing cycle of miserable thoughts.

because the request to evaluate their lives will inevitably remind them of the life of others and of the life they used to lead.

ah. need for echo chamber ness

Daniel Gilbert and Timothy Wilson introduced the word miswanting to describe bad choices that arise from errors of affective forecasting. This word deserves to be in everyday language. The focusing illusion (which Gilbert and Wilson call focalism) is a rich source of miswanting. In particular, it makes us prone to exaggerate the effect of significant purchases or changed circumstances on our future well-being

The remembering self, as I have described it, also tells stories and makes choices, and neither the stories nor the choices properly represent time.

The two selves are the experiencing self, which does the living, and the remembering self, which keeps score and makes the choices.

It is a good bet that many of the things we say we will always remember will be long forgotten ten years later

A theory of well-being that ignores what people want cannot be sustained.

i know his thought goes on.. but huge to finding the thing(s) you can’t not do… as a means to sustainability..

The possibility of using measures of well-being as indicators to guide government policies has attracted considerable recent interest, both among academics and in several governments in Europe

Bunker Roy ness

System 1 is indeed the origin of much that we do wrong, but it is also the origin of most of what we do right—which is most of what we do.

Observers are less cognitively busy and more open to information than actors.

so – biggest take away (from what i currently remember) is the importance of an echo chamber.. on a regular basis.. where we are getting at self – deep listening /reflection… in order to get to a place of well-being.. and make good choices.


post on the book et al:

daniel kahneman post

It’s a promising thought, but to place this book in the rubric of self-help would be to mistake Kahneman—who lived for several years in Nazi-occupied France—for a benighted optimist. Again and again he reminds us that having the means to describe your own bias won’t do much to help you overcome it. If we want to enforce rational behavior in society, he argues, then we all need to cooperate. Since it’s easier to recognize someone else’s errors than our own, we should all be harassing our friends about their poor judgments and making fun of their mistakes. Kahneman thinks we’d be better off in a society of inveterate nags who spout off at the water-cooler like overzealous subscribers to Psychology Today. Each chapter of the book closes with a series of quotes—many suggested by the author’s daughter—that are supposed to help kick off these enriching conversations:


from Sherry Turkle‘s reclaiming conversation – in reference to Daniel’s nobel prize biography – p 245

kahneman… we spent hours each day, just talking…. here we see convo as not only an intellectual engine but the means by which colleagues were able to cross boundaries that are usually only dissolved by love. conversation led to intellectual communion.

conversation is a kind of intimacy. you don’t just get more information. you get different information.

and for kahnemanlewis,.. those convos are so diff than manufacturing ones in a classroom for people who are there to get a grade/degree/pkg deal


Adam Grant (@AdamMGrant) tweeted at 12:08 PM – 24 Nov 2018 :
You can trust your gut when (1) you’re in a predictable environment, with (2) regular practice and (3) immediate feedback on your judgment.
If those conditions aren’t met, don’t trust your intuition. Test your intuition with data.
#SaturdayMotivation: https://t.co/hhNJt2WCjw (http://twitter.com/AdamMGrant/status/1066408308653854720?s=17)

that’s not intuition.. that’s school math

Can intuition play a role in investing? According to Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Memorial Prize-winning behavioral economist, no.

“Intuition is defined as knowing without knowing how you know,” he explained. “That’s the wrong definition. Because by that definition, you cannot have the wrong intuition.

intuition: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning..a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning

According to Kahneman, a better definition — or a more precise one — would be that “intuition is thinking that you know without knowing why you do.” By this definition, the intuition could be right or it could be wrong, he added.

intuition can often be wrong. To show an example of this, Kahneman had the crowd guess the GPA of a college senior he called Julie. He told the crowd one fact about Julie — that she read fluently at a young age — and then asked them to judge how good of a student she had been.

ie of gpa..investments… et al : – not natural.. intuition only works w natural

1\ has to be some regularity in the world that someone can pick up and learn.

living things not predcitable

“So, chess players certainly have it. Married people certainly have it,” Kahnemen explained.

However, he added, people who pick stocks in the stock market do not have it.

“Because, the stock market is not sufficiently regular to support developing that kind of expert intuition,” he explained.

2\ “a lot of practice,” according to Kahneman.

3\ immediate feedback. Kahneman said that “you have to know almost immediately whether you got it right or got it wrong.”

“But unless those three conditions are satisfied, the mere fact that you have an idea and nothing else comes to mind and you feel a great deal of confidence — absolutely does not guarantee accuracy,” he added.

‘accuracy’ is not the point of intuition

holmgren indigenous law