Thinking, Fast and Slow is a New York Times Bestseller by Daniel Kahneman. Mr. Kahneman is a Nobel Prize Winner, and this book has won numerous awards. Cool, you think, by how will it help me as an author?
Thinking, Fast and Slow is an exploration of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.
Practically speaking,if you would like your book to have a twist, or have a character who appears to be one thing but turns out to be another, it helps to understand that most people are on autopilot most of the time, rely heavily on snap judgements, and the power of first impressions.
The author describes the brain as efficient to the point of lazy, and thinking as ‘metabolically expensive.’ People avoid really thinking whenever possible. Not only does this book help you as an author, you’ll have a better grasp of people and society in general. It’s..um.. it’s not pretty.
There’s cognitive ease, (We don’t solve the right problem, we prefer to solve the easy problem) , poor intuition, wonky instincts, and good old predispositions. Anchor concepts, stereotypes, loss aversion, and way more Math than then I personally enjoy in a book. Basically, we’re a barely sentient collection of bias.
On the plus side, you’ll be able to spot yourself doing stupid things, and use the *cough* efficient brains of others to help them ‘discover’ the clues you’d like them to.
This book is the type of book you may need to read more than once, and you may need to read a bit more slowly than your normal speed. New concepts need a few exposures to really take.