Thursday, November 24, 2011

Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at the Woodrow Wilson School, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University, and a fellow of the Center for Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

He won the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics.

From his Q & A with Belinda Luscombe at Time magazine:

In your book Thinking, Fast and Slow, you frame the way we think as two different systems. What are they?

Slow thinking has the feeling of something you do. It's deliberate. It gives you a sense of agency. That's not at all the way it happens when fast thinking operates, like when you brake a car suddenly.

You say we often believe we're thinking slow when we're not. What are the biggest mistakes we make as a result?

We are normally blind about our own blindness. We're generally overconfident in our opinions and our impressions and judgments. We exaggerate how knowable the world is.

What's your favorite experiment that demonstrates our blindness to our own blindness?

It's one someone else did. During [the '90s] when there was terrorist activity in Thailand, people were asked how much they'd pay for a travel-insurance policy that pays $100,000 in case of death for any reason. Others were asked how much they'd pay for a policy that pays $100,000 for death in a terrorist act. And people will pay more for the second, even though it's less likely.
Read the complete Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue