Thinking, fast and slow

Review - 11 Jul 2015

Paralysed by information overload, my apparently limited mind struggled to keep up with Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow masterpiece.

Now, I don’t know if you can call this a book. This isn’t something you just pick up, read, then put down and forget. This thing is more bible-like. Something you always keep front of mind, reflecting on, and forever re-reading.

This book is chocker with many many many statistical, psychological, philosophical, economic and personal references. Combined wonderfully by a magnitude of stories, tests and researched references - my poor brain was left feeling a bit under utilised.

We’ve all been asked the question, if you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, who would you invite? Well, Daniel Kahneman would head my table. This book is like a Malcolm Gladwell book on steroids… 

Not only does Thinking, Fast and Slow have multiple applications in broad contexts, but it endeavours to simplify complicated research and experiments, whilst in no way compromising the integrity and legitimacy of the research.

For business people, Thinking, Fast and Slow sheds light on different strategies to better understand his or her market, or operating environment. Mental framing, nudging, associative coherence and substitution effects are some of my favourite topics discussed.

Reading this book, I was blown away by learning just how flawed humans’ decision making and cognitive abilities really are. Our minds are hugely influenced; misguided judgements and decisions are intrinsically woven into our mental makeup.

Being an advertising guy, I was interested to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics behind commonly utilised persuasive techniques and tactics. Many of which have been utilised, but with little understanding of why they’ve succeeded - it has been a true test of trial and error.

Advertising folk have spent decades deliberately framing marketing communications.

This book provides context and a much deeper understanding to why advertising techniques have relevance in our world, and gives an uncapped number of definitions and descriptions for how our minds’ behave. These learnings align perfectly to the preparation of deeper and more relevant strategies.

Living in a world where people have a better grasp for how and why we making decisions we do, will inevitably provide a much deeper consideration, not just in business, but in political and social contexts too.

As mentioned, I was left a little bewildered by the book - like many people, I’ve always thought that i've personally had a deep understanding for humans' intrinsic thoughts and a general understanding for the motivations and drivers behind how our minds work. But, I’ve enjoyed having my eyes opened and learning infinitely more about how our minds work - ways in which we can’t always master.  I suppose, facing this is the best us mere humans can do.

Image courtesy of Google ;)