Summer Reading 2015: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

A novel sized book is instantly going to be a bit easier to read than something sized like a textbook (however thin that textbook is) so I was hoping that Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman would be a welcome break from all this mind-boggling information. Like all but two of my summer reading books, this was taken from the School Library as extra reading for my chosen university subject – psychology. I’m the second person to borrow it – what an honour (!).

First of all, I must say that I already have a soft spot for this book. In truth, I haven’t even read a quarter of the book as I type this, but I am powering on out of sheer willpower and pure interest.

It’s no fictional escapade like the books I normally read. It is, literally, a book about how we think and make decisions, and what affects both. It’s a huge scholarly article-type thing (nothing is cited but all the references are organised by chapter/section(?) to make searching easy).

Reminders of money produce some troubling effects […] Money-primed people become more independent […] more selfish […] Money-primed undergraduates showed a greater preference for being alone.

-This bunch of quotes sum up a paragraph which felt quite significant to me. This section was, in a nutshell, about things that affect our thinking by ‘priming’ us without us realising it – from our everyday actions to our votes cast for an important cause to how much we donate to charity. 

Unlike with the Psychology Summer Project, I have time to slowly make sense of the information presented here and all the long words Kahneman uses. Long words take longer for me to ‘absorb’ even if I have no problem understanding them so I am forced to read and re-read at a snail’s pace which is why it took me a whole morning just to get through the introduction.

Thing is, every time this guy makes a point and adds evidence – gotta love some evidence – I really enjoy it. I’m not sure how else to describe it – it’s like I’m instantly relating to this new information and how it all fits in with my personal experiences.

Powering through this book is definitely worth it for the wisdom it brings and I think I may just buy my own copy if it ends up being one of ‘The’ psychology books I should have, at least just for reference.


P.S. Speaking of which, I need a bigger bookshelf.

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