Thinking Fast and Slow Quotes by Daniel Kahneman to Improve Decision Making

Thinking, Fast and Slow Quotes

Daniel Kahneman, a world-renowned psychologist and Nobel Laureate in Economics, takes us on a revolutionary tour of the mind in his blockbuster hit Thinking, Fast and Slow, in which he explains the two systems that drive our thinking.

We have compiled a list of the top quotes from Thinking, Fast and Slow book.


Thinking Fast and Slow Quotes

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

“Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

“If you care about being thought credible and intelligent, do not use complex language where simpler language will do.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

“The psychologist, Paul Rozin, an expert on disgust, observed that a single cockroach will completely wreck the appeal of a bowl of cherries, but a cherry will do nothing at all for a bowl of cockroaches.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

“The idea that the future is unpredictable is undermined every day by the ease with which the past is explained.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

“Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

“This is the essence of intuitive heuristics: when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

“The confidence that individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell about what they see, even if they see little.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).

“We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“We can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“I have always believed that scientific research is another domain where a form of optimism is essential to success: I have yet to meet a successful scientist who lacks the ability to exaggerate the importance of what he or she is doing, and I believe that someone who lacks a delusional sense of significance will wilt in the face of repeated experiences of multiple small failures and rare successes, the fate of most researchers.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“A reliable way of making people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The world makes much less sense than you think. The coherence comes mostly from the way your mind works.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“You are more likely to learn something by finding surprises in your own behavior than by hearing surprising facts about people in general.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The easiest way to increase happiness is to control your use of time. Can you find more time to do the things you enjoy doing?” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Familiarity breeds liking.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it. It is wise to take admissions of uncertainty seriously, but declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The test of learning psychology is whether your understanding of situations you encounter has changed, not whether you have learned a new fact.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Acquisition of skills requires a regular environment, an adequate opportunity to practice, and rapid and unequivocal feedback about the correctness of thoughts and actions.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Because we tend to be nice to other people when they please us and nasty when they do not, we are statistically punished for being nice and rewarded for being nasty.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The premise of this book is that it is easier to recognize other people’s mistakes than our own.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“We focus on our goal, anchor on our plan, and neglect relevant base rates, exposing ourselves to the planning fallacy. We focus on what we want to do and can do, neglecting the plans and skills of others. Both in explaining the past and in predicting the future, we focus on the causal role of skill and neglect the role of luck. We are therefore prone to an illusion of control. We focus on what we know and neglect what we do not know, which makes us overly confident in our beliefs.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“We are prone to blame decision makers for good decisions that worked out badly and to give them too little credit for successful moves that appear obvious only after the fact.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Experts who acknowledge the full extent of their ignorance may expect to be replaced by more confident competitors, who are better able to gain the trust of clients. An unbiased appreciation of uncertainty is a cornerstone of rationality—but it is not what people and organizations want.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“When people believe a conclusion is true, they are also very likely to believe arguments that appear to support it, even when these arguments are unsound.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“A simple rule can help: before an issue is discussed, all members of the committee should be asked to write a very brief summary of their position. This procedure makes good use of the value of the diversity of knowledge and opinion in the group. The standard practice of open discussion gives too much weight to the opinions of those who speak early and assertively, causing others to line up behind them.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Jonathan Haidt said in another context, “The emotional tail wags the rational dog.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“A stable relationship requires that good interactions outnumber bad interactions by at least 5 to 1.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking of it.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Higher income is associated with a reduced ability to enjoy the small pleasures of life.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“To derive the most useful information from multiple sources of evidence, you should always try to make these sources independent of each other.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“I call it theory-induced blindness: once you have accepted a theory and used it as a tool in your thinking, it is extraordinarily difficult to notice its flaws. If you come upon an observation that does not seem to fit the model, you assume that there must be a perfectly good explanation that you are somehow missing.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The worse the consequence, the greater the hindsight bias.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“You can do several things at once, but only if they are easy and undemanding.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Indeed, there is evidence that people are more likely to be influenced by empty persuasive messages, such as commercials, when they are tired and depleted.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“If you have had to force yourself to do something, you are less willing or less able to exert self-control when the next challenge comes around. The phenomenon has been named ego depletion.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“However, optimism is highly valued, socially and in the market; people and firms reward the providers of dangerously misleading information more than they reward truth tellers. One of the lessons of the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession is that there are periods in which competition, among experts and among organizations, creates powerful forces that favor a collective blindness to risk and uncertainty.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Remember this rule: intuition cannot be trusted in the absence of stable regularities in the environment.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“To be useful, your beliefs should be constrained by the logic of probability.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“We are far too willing to reject the belief that much of what we see in life is random.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The most effortful forms of slow thinking are those that require you to think fast.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Jumping to conclusions is efficient if the conclusions are likely to be correct and the costs of an occasional mistake acceptable. Jumping to conclusions is risky when the situation is unfamiliar, the stakes are high and there is no time to collect more information.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“It is much easier to strive for perfection when you are never bored.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The world in our heads is not a precise replica of reality; our expectations about the frequency of events are distorted by the prevalence and emotional intensity of the messages to which we are exposed.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“If a satisfactory answer to a hard question is not found quickly, System 1 will find a related question that is easier and will answer it. I call the operation of answering one question in place of another substitution.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Those who avoid the sin of intellectual sloth could be called “engaged.” They are more alert, more intellectually active, less willing to be satisfied with superficially attractive answers, more skeptical about their intuitions.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The experiencing self does not have a voice. The remembering self is sometimes wrong, but it is the one that keeps score and governs what we learn from living, and it is the one that makes decisions. What we learn from the past is to maximize the qualities of our future memories, not necessarily of our future experience. This is the tyranny of the remembering self.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“People who are poor think like traders, but the dynamics are quite different. Unlike traders, the poor are not indifferent to the differences between gaining and giving up. Their problem is that all their choices are between losses. Money that is spent on one good is the loss of another good that could have been purchased instead. For the poor, costs are losses.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“The evidence of priming studies suggests that reminding people of their mortality increases the appeal of authoritarian ideas, which may become reassuring in the context of the terror of death.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow)

“Mood evidently affects the operation of System 1: when we are uncomfortable and unhappy, we lose touch with our intuition.” -> Daniel Kahneman, (Thinking, Fast and Slow).


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Chandan Negi

I’m Chandan Negi, the Founder of Internet Pillar. I love sharing quotes and sayings to inspire and motivate people.