“What (and how…) are you thinking about?”
Breaking down fast and slow thinking
Maria Stepien Bath 03.05.19
Entrepreneurs Society, University of Bath
“Thinking Fast and Slow” is a best-seller published in 2011 by Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureate Daniel Kahneman. This book on behavioural psychology will help you realize why you make mistakes and how you can prevent that from happening through controlling the way you make decisions.
Our brain uses two certain systems of thinking: system 1 and system 2. The first one is used intuitively, quickly and is automatic – it’s hard to control it due to its passive nature. It is useful when you are making decisions of low significance, for instance during impulsive buying, the example of which is purchasing mood improvers like chocolate.
System 2 Thinking is used when we need to make an important decision, usually preceded by careful and detailed research. This way of thinking is the opposite of System 1: it’s slow, systematic and effortful. In addition, we are aware of its occurrence and can influence our decision-making through conducting an internal analysis of our current preferences. As such, it is used in high involvement decisions.
System 1 is often accused of being responsible for “first impressions” that lead to ‘jumping’ to conclusions. The disappoint truth is that… that’s right. There are two elements that influence this process.
- We tend to think some events are more likely just because it's easy to bring them into our minds
- We base our decisions on suboptimal information
- The example of which is the process of estimating a number and often making our estimation close to a number we've heard or saw recently, even if it is not relevant
DID YOU KNOW?
System 1 seems to represent a careless, irresponsible behaviour and you may think that you barely use it in your well-organised and successful life. However, it turns out that this is what we all tend to do on the daily basis – think quickly and intuitively, without applying specific analytical processes.
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