Daniel KahnemanOpen Access

Daniel Kahneman

at Princeton University

One of the founding fathers of Behavioral Economics, a Nobel Prize-winning, Israeli-American psychologist whose Prospect Theory underpinned his discovery of the many biases that we know today.

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Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman

at Princeton University

One of the founding fathers of Behavioral Economics, a Nobel Prize-winning, Israeli-American psychologist whose Prospect Theory underpinned his discovery of the many biases that we know today.

The study

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In detail

• In the 1950s, Danny was drafted into the Israel Defence Forces in the psychology branch, creating methods to assess recruitment suitability.  

• From the late 60s, he worked with fellow academic and best friend Amos Tversky. 1971-81 were the peak years of research output for the ‘dynamic duo’, including on the Availability and Anchoring shortcuts.

• In ’74, they published the important Judgement Under Uncertainty paper on biases and shortcuts, which started the wave of rational thinking as something unrealistic, impacting psychology, economics and philosophy. 

Thinking, Fast and Slow is an interesting capstone to his career, but his accomplishments were solidified well in advance of writing it. They’d be just as significant without it.” 

- Steven Pinker on Daniel

• In ’79, Danny and Amos created Prospect Theory - with its “meaningless yet distinctive name” and initial discovery of Loss Aversion.

• In ’81, they created Framing suggesting that choices are merely mental representations open to intepretation and not set in stone. 

• Defined Peak End Rule with the famous colonoscopy study.

• In 2002, won the Nobel Prize for Economics for work with Tversky and later winner Richard Thaler that combined psychology with economics.

• He also furthered and then popularized Dual System Theory (Fast and Slow Thinking) in his best-selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow in 2011.

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Open access, foundational Nuggets

Scarcity

Scarcity

We value things more when they’re in limited supply

Social Proof

Social Proof

We copy the behaviors of others, especially in unfamiliar situations

Prospect Theory

Prospect Theory

A loss hurts more than an equal gain feels good

Reciprocity

Reciprocity

We’re hardwired to return kindness received

Framing

Framing

We make very different decisions based on how a fact is presented

Loss Aversion

Loss Aversion

We feel more negative when losing something than positive when we gain it

Default Effect

Default Effect

We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

Anchoring

Anchoring

What we see first affects our judgement of everything thereafter

Fast & Slow Thinking

Fast & Slow Thinking

We make knee-jerk spontaneous decisions that can cause regretful damage

Salience

Salience

Our choices are determined by the information we're shown

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Risk Aversion
We don’t like uncertainty and generally stick to what we know

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Risk Aversion
We don’t like uncertainty and generally stick to what we know
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