Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

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Thinking, Fast and Slow book summary
“Two systems” vie for control of your mind, and “two selves” decide your happiness. Can all four of you ever get along?


8 Overall

6 Importance

9 Innovation

8 Style


The topics that Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman addresses are both complex and integral to the human mind: He asks you to think about thinking by considering how your mind habitually contradicts itself, distorts data and misleads you. His prose is lucid, his reasoning rigorous and his honesty refreshing – more than once Kahneman illustrates conflicted thinking with examples from his own life. The result is a fairly slow read, but an ultimately rewarding experience. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone interested in neuroscience and neuroeconomics, and to all those who want to improve their thinking about thinking.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How your mind works “fast and slow,”
  • How your “two selves” affect your perspective
  • How to think better


Your “Two Systems” and What They Mean
Any time you have to make sense of something, your mind applies two systems to the question at hand.

The first is “System 1,” or the mental processing that reads emotions and handles your automatic skills, like driving your car or adding...
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About the Author

Daniel Kahneman, a professor emeritus at Princeton and a Nobel laureate in economics, has written extensively on the psychology of judgment and decision making.

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    Amanda Henderson 2 months ago
    I think I need to read the full book to understand it. That or sit and discuss with someone so I can wrap my head around some of these concepts.
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      peggy eyssallenne 2 months ago
      Hi Amanda. I agree - sometimes the full book is needed to full grasp dense concepts such as this. I felt the same way reading the summary. Have you checked out the author's TEDTalk, "The Riddle of Memory VS. Experience" on the getAbstract site? Once i watched the video and re-read this summary, I was able to understand the concepts a bit more and even start to apply it. Good luck!
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    rajiv nayak 3 months ago
    Absorbing exhaustive and good
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    Eloise Lee 6 months ago
    It's mind-blowing. I started to see things differently now and be more aware of my System 1 thinking whenever it takes place! Very well-written book.
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    Khon Sokkhin 7 months ago
    Very useful, thanks
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    Sidnei Shibata 9 months ago
    I am reading this book right now and in spite of the small letters (paperback edition) and the slow reading (System II engaging), it provides interesting examples on how our mind is clouded by rational but not always statistical and appropriate thinking. Definitely a good source of insights for more conscious decision making in all aspects of life.
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    Juan Manuel Clavijo Castillo 10 months ago
    Hard to grasp here the utility of the book in the real life. I will search for more
    • Avatar
      peggy eyssallenne 2 months ago
      Hi Juan. I agree. I felt the same way reading the summary. Have you checked out the author's TEDTalk, "The Riddle of Memory VS. Experience" on the getAbstract site? Once i watched the video and re-read this summary, I was able to understand the concepts a bit more. Good luck!
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    Refers Edvervdfv 12 months ago
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    Sheila Forde 2 years ago
    Good summary of how we think - yes you need to engage system 2 to get the most out of it but that is not to its detriment in any way. As a Learning and Development Professional working with Sales Teams I use some of these ideas to inform my training including training design and more recently helping sales teams understand the power of stories which tap into system one very effectively.
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    alfred lam 3 years ago
    I find this book is quite complicated to read. It requires system 2 to be active most of the time to be able to truly get the most. Fascinating book, though, my system 1 wants the short cut and so a abstract of the best ideas is what I am searching for. Hopefully the abstract will satisfy the system 2 when I read the abstract for which reading the book in its entirety with system 1 did not reach teh intended learning.
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    Divine Akaba 4 years ago
    Just started reading my copy last week. I am enjoying it, but one must read it deliberately :-) to be able to enjoy it...thats system II iI guess
    Reminds be of Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein...........curious to know if they have any demonstrations on how these ideas have any positive impact on business decisions and results
    Great weekend
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    null 4 years ago
    Good morning Mr. Daniel Kahneman,
    I am Phd Student now in Andalas University. I am conducting my reseach about problem solving for schizophrenia. it is an excellence reading book about thinking that everyone must read it in order to refresh their thinking.
    would you please to give me this book for enrich my reference. If you would, please send me to :
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      Deirdre Cody 4 years ago

      Many thanks for your nice comment. We also enjoyed this book. In fact, "Thinking, Fast and Slow" has made it to the shortlist for this year's getAbstract International Book Award.

      getAbstract does not sell or make entire books available to our customers. However, I checked on, and there are some good deals on this book right now. Please follow this link to find out more:

      Best of luck with your research. Schizophrenia is a fascinating topic.

      Have a lovely weekend.

      Kind regards,
      Deirdre Cody (editor at getAbstract)
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    null 4 years ago
    how i wish to get this an important motivational book of such.
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    Divine Akaba 5 years ago
    How come you never mentioned any of his previous books as you did with other authors?
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      Erica Rauzin 5 years ago
      Darn good question. Here you go:

      Daniel Kahneman is also the co-oauthor of Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment, written with Thomas Gilovich, and of Choices, Values and Frames, and Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases,both written with Amos Tversky, as well as Well-Being: Foundations of Hedonic Psychology, written with Ed Diener. Working with Diener and John Helliwell, Kahneman also co-authored International Differences in Well-Being.

      Hope that's helpful. Thanks for your comment. E. Rauzin, managing editor, getAbstract

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    Tyler Hudson 5 years ago
    While the concepts of the book are intriguing, something about the summary makes me feel as though the important bits of the book were either left out or recapped in such a way that I find the summary not as good as others I have read on

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