This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow.

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Daniel Kahneman may not be a household name – unless your household is a TED-friendly, Freakonomics-reading type of household – but he is a megastar in the worlds of psychology and academia. Along with his late research partner Amos Tversky (to whose memory this book is dedicated), Kahneman challenged popular assumptions in other fields, becoming an influential voice in economics, politics, and medicine. In 2002, he won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering work on how human judgment sometimes defies logic or probability – and how even supposedly scientific decisions are influenced by human bias and irrational assumptions. This was alarming news to economists, to be sure, and caused ongoing ripples within the field.

Since even Nobel Prize winners require day jobs, Kahneman currently serves as a senior scholar and professor of psychology at Princeton University. His full list of publications would be a book unto itself; he’s co-edited a number of volumes with Tversky and other colleagues, including Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment and Choices, Values, and Frames. In 2007, the American Psychological Association honored him with a lifetime achievement award.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1934, Kahneman spent most of his formative years in France, then relocated to Palestine. He swiftly developed a passion for psychology while studying at Hebrew University. Once drafted into the army, the star pupil soon developed a new methodology for interviewing incoming recruits. In 1958, he came to America for further study in preparation for his doctorate; he began at Berkeley and also spent a fruitful period at the University of Michigan and then at Cambridge, where he met Tversky, who quickly became his key collaborator. In the span between 1971 and 1981 – what Kahneman refers to as their “peak years” – the duo published eight times. Much of their work remains influential to this day.

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