Top positive review
It helps us become aware of cognitive biases in other people, not in ourselves.
Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2018
This was a difficult but valuable book. However, some reviewers claim its value is in changing our mental habits. This is a mistake. The book is much too complex for that. Kahneman concludes the book stating that even he has not been able to do much to curb the instincts of intuition. The value of the book, he states, is to give people the vocabulary to spot biases and to criticize the decisions of others: “Ultimately, a richer language is essential to the skill of constructive criticism.” (pp. 417-8) I finished the book a few days ago and have found it useful in criticizing the writings of op-ed columnists. They are especially guilty of question substitution: substituting a question that is easy to answer for one that is almost impossible. For example, for the question what does the recent election of a certain politician mean for the Democrats, the pundit will answer the question of what is the politician’s personality and personal demeanor and then state that Democrats need to run candidates with this personality profile. Kahneman is not speaking to decision makers as much as he is to those who might offer constructive criticism to the deciders. He is not interested in individuals as much as he is in organizations. He wants to create communities that not only have better results but have a better decision making process. The best way to evaluate his work is to take some of his ideas and see if they work in whichever community you happen to find yourself. Do they improve your community's decision making process?