Daniel Kahneman: “Thinking, Fast and Slow” | Talks at Google

Daniel Kahneman: “Thinking, Fast and Slow” | Talks at Google

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>>John Boyd: All right. I’m John Boyd. It
is my great pleasure to introduce Professor Kahneman today. And I just want to give you
a brief background on his outstanding career. He started in 1954 received his bachelors
in experimental psychology and mathematics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In
1961, he was awarded his Ph.D. from University of California Berkeley right across the bay
in Experimental Psychology. In 1979, he and his coauthor Amos Tversky published their
seminal paper on Prospect Theory which started to change the way people reframed the argument
around gains, losses, and decision-making under uncertainty. Several years later in
2002, Professor Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Prize largely on the work of Prospect Theory
of. And Nobel Prize isn’t always impressive; his perhaps more so because there isn’t a
Nobel Prize in psychology. He had to win his Nobel Prize in economics. And as far as I
know, there’s only one other person, one other psychologist, who’s won a Nobel Prize and
that’s Ivan Pavlov. He may be a physiologist, we could argue about that. Years later, in
2007, Psychologist tried to reclaim Professor Kahneman as one of their own when the American
Psychological Association awarded him Lifetime Distinguished Contribution Award. And today
he is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
at Princeton University and he’s here to talk about his new book Thinking Fast and Slow.
Now Google’s mission which we all know is to take the world’s information and to make
it more useful and universally accessible. And all information, all knowledge, is important,
but I think some again is more important than others. Because the information that he’ll
present today I think it’s very personal; it’s about each of us. And, if you’ll listen
carefully it’s going to change the way you think about yourself and the world around
you. So please join me in welcoming Professor Kahneman to Google. [Applause]>>Kahneman: Thank you. Well, I think intuition
has been discussed a lot in recent years and I’ll be talking about intuition. There are
two camps in this discussion naturally there is the pro and the con. And of course, many
people here will have read Malcolm Gladwell Blink which although it’s not unconditional
defense of intuition, it certainly gave people the impression that sometimes we magically
know things without knowing why we know them. Within the discipline of psychology and the
decision making there is a group and it is headed by a very interesting figure called
Gary Kline who wrote a book that I recommend. Its Sources of Power is one of his books that
I would recommend the most warmly. And they are great believers in expert intuition. The
other side there are skeptics about intuition in general and including expert intuition.
And I have long been counted as one of the skeptics because my early work with Amos Tversky
was about intuitive errors and flaws and biases of intuitive thinking. Today you find that
discussion in many places and for example in medicine among the popular writers; two
writers both of whom write for the New Yorker, Jerome Groopman and Atul Gawande. They clearly
differ. Atul Gawande is in favor of formal systems, very skeptical about human judgment
and wanting to prove all the time and Jerome Groopman being in fact, although he doesn’t
quite admit he really likes good old fashioned medical intuition. Of course he likes physicians
well-educated. But he doesn’t like formal system and the issue in medicine is “What
are the role of evidence based medicine and how do you allocate that with
the function of intuition?” The background
actually, part of the background for what I’ll talk about today is a strange collaboration
in which I engaged with about eight years with Gary Klein, whom I mentioned. He is a
guru of a group of people who really, I wouldn’t say they despise what I do but they certainly
don’t like what I do because they think that the emphasis and biases of judgment has drawn
an unjustly unfavorable picture of the human mind. And by and large I am inclined to agree.
Seven or eight years ago I invited him and we worked together for a number of years trying
to figure out where is the boundary? Where is intuition marvelous and where is it flawed?
And I think we can tell. And we wrote a paper at the end of six or seven years with a lot
of vicissitudes that we went through since we basically don’t agree. We wrote a paper
the title of which was A Failure to Disagree, because on the substance I think we know and
we both agree where you can trust intuition and where you cannot. Emotionally we haven’t
changed. He still hates the biases and doesn’t think that errors of experts are very funny
and I think that errors of experts are quite funny [laughter] so that’s a difference right
there. There are two modes of thinking that all of us are familiar with. And there is
one mode, one way for thoughts that come to mind and listen to this. You know about this
lady that she’s I think adjust as quickly as you know her hair is dark. And it’s interesting
to dwell a bit about this. It is this is not something that the judgment that she is angry,
the impression that she is angry. Doesn’t feel like something you did. It feels like
something that happens. It happens to me. We have the basic experience is a passive
experience in those judgments. And that is true of perception, when we see the world
we don’t decide to see it. It is true of impression. And it is true in general what we call intuitive
thinking. It just happens. It comes from somewhere. And we are not the author of it. Now, there
is another way that thoughts come to mind and here I suppose essentially nothing came
to your mind, but the answer is 408. To produce the 408, requires a completely different kind
of operation. You have to retrieve the program that you learned in school. The program consists
of steps. You have to go through the steps. You’ve got to pay attention successively to
partial products and so on. And keep things in mind and keep the whole program in mind.
This is how it works. This is something that you do. It is not something that happens to
you. And there are many indications that this is how it works. One is that Physiology indicates
and this is how it works: pupil dilates. This is something that I studies many, many years
ago that people really on a program like that if you’re on a problem like that if you’re
going to do it in your head, your pupil will dilate. The area will increase by about 50%
as soon as you engage in that. And it will stay dilated as long as you’re working and
it will sort of collapse back to normal size either when you quit or when you find the
answer. So this is another way thoughts come to mind. And this is definitely not the intuitive
way. Here we are we feel a sense of urgency. We feel something deliberate is happening
and a very important aspect of it this is effortful and what psychologists mean by effort
is basically, if you want the quick introduction to what effort is, this is something you cannot
do while making a left turn into traffic. You cannot do it and you shouldn’t try. And
the reason is that there is limited capacity to exert effort. And if you are engaged that
capacity or those resources at one task less is available for another task. Now, there
is another function of System 2. And here I’m going to tell you a riddle. Most of you
are familiar with it. A bat and a ball together costs 1.10. The bat costs more than the ball.
Of course how much does the ball cost? How many people know this riddle by the way? Oh,
okay. So it’s still usable. The point about this riddle is that the number came to your
mind. And the number is ten cents. And everybody just, I think. Maybe here they’re exception,
very few exceptions. People confess that the number ten cents immediately came to mind.
Now, it’s wrong. Ten cents and dollar 10 is a dollar 20. The solution is five cents. What
is interesting here is that at Princeton, at MIT at Harvard and I don’t know about Stanford
or CalTech about 50% of students asked this question of undergraduates say ten cents.
And we learn something very interesting when somebody says ten cents. We learn that they
didn’t check because if they had checked, they wouldn’t say ten cents. So, there is
a sense of confidence that people have that these people in particular have and it brings
us to another function of what I’ll call System 2. System 1 is the intuitive one; they perform
those automatic and activities and System 2 is the effortful one the one that the deliberate
one. And the reason that I classify this as System 2 operation is that self-control and
controlling your attention and deliberate exertion of effort are impaired when by other
activities. So, if for example, a trivial example, if somebody is asked to retain seven
digits in their head and you then give them a choice between chocolate cake, sinful chocolate
cake and virtuous fruit salad they’re more likely to choose the chocolate cake than they
would if they didn’t have seven digits in their head. It takes effort to control your
impulses even such mild impulses as a preference for chocolate cake. So
you should be aware of that difference between
System 1 operations, the automatic ones and System 2 operations, the deliberate ones,
it comes very clearly when in driving. So driving is a skill. And any skilled activity
measure of skill is that things begin to happen automatically. So you can drive and conduct
a conversation. You cannot make a left turn into traffic, but by and large, we can drive
and talk. So driving is largely automatic. Braking, when there is any sign of danger,
braking is completely automatic. That is, you can notice while you’re braking, but you
first respond so that the response is immediate, it is fully automatic. Now, in some places,
not here where people drive in snow or ice, they learn about skids. And then, occasionally,
you’ll find yourself as a driver in a skid. And then System 2 will be mobilized because
in a skid you’re not supposed to do anything that comes naturally to you. You shouldn’t
brake and you shouldn’t steer away from the skid. You should leave the brakes alone and
steer into the skid, completely non-intuitive. Now, when people have a lot of practice with
skids that too becomes automatic. So one thing that we can tell about System 1 and System
2 those two types of operations, is some of the basic innate operations, functions that
we have such as having emotional reactions to things, all this is System 1. We don’t
choose to do it. It just happens to us. But also System 1 is where skill is. That is when
we get to be skilled at something it becomes automatic and it demands your resources and
we get to be very good at it. Now, the issue of intuition and here I’m not sure, but I
suspect that Malcolm Gladwell really did us a disservice by giving us a sense there is
magic to intuition. There really is no magic at all and we should understand how it works.
Intuition and Herbert Simon who was Psychologist then and economist and a political scientist
Nobel Laureate, Herbert Simon gave a very good definition about what intuition is. It
is simply recognition. There is really no difference between the physician recognizing
a disease, you know, a particular disease from a facial expression or something and
a little child learning, pointing to something and saying doggie. The little child has no
idea what the clues are but he just said. He just knows this is dog without knowing
why he knows. And once you think about it this way, this really demystifies intuition
to a very considerable extent. And it also leads you to sort of a solution to the problem
Gary Klein and I were trying to solve. When can you trust intuition and when can’t you?
And then it becomes an issue of is the world regular enough so that you can learn to recognize
things? Or and then did that particular individual have an opportunity to learn the regularities
of the world? And so, the world of chess players is highly regular. And statistically, the
world of poker players is very regular. So there is an element of chance, but there are
rules and the mind is so set that if there are rules in the environment and we’re exposed
to them for a long time, and we get immediate feedback on what is right and wrong, or fairly
immediate feedback, we would acquire those rules. So all of us have expert intuition
even if we are not physicians and we’re not master chess players. I recognize my wife’s
mood from one word on the telephone. You know, most of you can do that. There’s people that
you know very well. All of us recognize dangerous driver on the next lane. And you know we get
cues and we don’t necessarily know what is the cue but this person is driving erratically
and could do something dangerous. And this is a lot of reinforced practice and we’re
very good at that. We can learn about those, there are differences. Among experts, among
professionals, in the level of expertise that they have and they depend in the level of
intuitive expertise that they can develop. So for example, compare anesthesiologists
to radiologists. Anesthesiologists get very good feedback, an immediate feedback whenever
they do anything wrong. You know they have those measurements in real time. Radiologists
get really miserable feedback about whether they’re right or wrong. So you could expect
an anesthesiologist to develop intuition much more than you would expect radiologist to
develop intuition. And so, that is part of the answer about intuitive expertise. We don’t
need to disagree about that because we know pretty much when intuitive expertise is likely
to develop. And as I said, we also that means that intuitive expertise is not going to develop
in a chaotic universe or in a chaotic world. So for example, I personally do not believe
that that’s stopped because people pick stocks to invest in can develop intuition because
simply the market takes care of it. There isn’t enough regularity in what’s going to
happen to prices for intuitions to develop. We also know about political forecasters when
they forecast long-term, they are really no better than a dart-throwing monkey. And they
are certainly not better than the average reader of the New York Times. Intuitions and
the reason it’s not the pundit’s fault. And that research has been done with pundits and
CIA analysts and regional experts. It is really not their fault that they cannot predict the
long range future 10 or 15 years. They are quite good at short-term predictions. They
are really not good at all in long-term predictions. It’s not their fault. It’s the fault of the
world. The world is probably not predictable. And if the world is not predictable, then
you are not going to predict it. When there are marginal situations where there is some
predictability but poor formulas do better than individuals. That is the domain where
formulas beat individuals regularly is a domain of fairly low predictability. Because when
there are weak cues, people are not very good at picking them up and are not good at using
them consistently. But formulas can be generated on the basis of experience and they will do
a better job than individual judgment. Okay. Now, I’ve introduced you to System 1 and System
2 and I’ve told you something about skill and about skill in System 1. Now I’d like
to point out something that we sometimes have intuitions and that applies to political forecasters
and to stock pickers and to all of us. Quite frequently we have intuitions that are false.
And they come up and come to mind and they are subjectively undistinguishable from expert
intuitions. So I’m now talking of people who have intuitions that are not based on expertise.
And they come. They’re System 1 in the sense that they are effortless and automatic. And
where do they come from? And that is what I’m going to try to illuminate, shed some
light on in the rest of the talk. So I want to introduce you to System 1. And first of
all, let me get one thing clear because I might forget. I use System 1 and System 2
those terms and very shocking terms in my discipline. You are really not supposed to
do that. Because every psychologist gets told fairly early you’re not supposed to explain
what happens in the mind by invoking little agents inside the mind and explain what the
mind does by what the little agents do. Those are homunculi and that’s a bad word in psychology.
I’m going to use System 1 and System 2 absolutely as homunculi. Now, what do I have to say in
my defense? First of all, well, I’m warning you. Those are fictitious characters. They
don’t exist. I don’t believe there is such a thing as System 1 and System 2. Don’t look
for them in the brain, because they are not two systems in the brain of which one does
one and the other does the other. So why am I using this terrible language? I’m using
it because I think it’s helpful. It fits the way our minds work and to explain the background
of that decision of why I use System 1 and System 2, I refer you to a very good book.
It’s very entertaining. It’s by Joshua Foer and it’s called Moonwalking with Einstein.
It came out earlier this year. And what the book is about. Joshua Foer, he’s a science
writer. And he went to the Memory Championship of the United States. You might not know there
is such a thing but there is. So people memorize decks of cards and very, very long lists of
things and perform feats that we think are completely extraordinary. Joshua Foer decided
to find out what happens. And a year later he was actually the champion — the Memory
Champion of the United States. And the book is a story of how he did it. And basically
the story which was known to the Greeks in some form is that memory is very, very good
at something and terrible at other things. Memory is terrible at remembering lists. We’re
really not good at remembering lists. Memory is superb at remembering routes through space.
That evolution, evolution has endowed us with an ability to remember routes and not lists.
So now, you can trick yourself. If mentally you have a list and you want to remember the
list, then you create a mental route and you distribute the items on your list along the
route. And then, when you want to remember the deck of cards or whatever it is, then
you go through your route and you pick out items one after the other, because that you
can do. It turns out something very similar happens in another context. People are very
good thinking about agents. The mind is set really beautifully to think about agent. Agents
have traits. Agents have behaviors. We understand agents. We form global impressions of their
personalities. We are really not very good at remembering sentences where the subject
of the sentence is an abstract notion. But an agent is very, very good. So just remember
whenever I say System 1 does X what I mean is x is a mental activity that can be performed
without effort. You’ll remember a lot more about System 1 if you think about it as doing
things than if you think of those mental activities. It helps me think and I think it helps other
people understand. Okay. So let me introduce you to System 1. I begin with a study, just
an extreme case of this study was done at the University in the UK and like in many
department of biology actually. And like many places in the UK, they have a small room which
is a tearoom, coffee room, where people can make themselves tea or coffee and get some
biscuits and there is an honesty box and they pay into the honesty box. And somebody had
the bright idea of sticking a poster right on top of the honesty box and of changing
the poster once a week. And so, this is week one. And that’s the poster. Week 2 is flowers.
Week 3 is eyes. And so on. Now, what is remarkable about this is, this is something that happens
to people. They have no idea it’s happening to them. In fact, they have no idea about
the posters. They are barely aware there are posters there. They certainly don’t know the
posters change systemically. They have no idea that the posters influence their behavior.
System 1 can do those things. Those things we, a lot is happening in our mind that we
are not fully aware of. We are not aware of at all in fact. And there is a link between
eyes and being watched and being watched and not wanting to do bad things or wanting to
do good things. All of this is deep in our associative memory and it gets activated.
You see eyes especially those large eyes on week 1 and it does something to you that you
may not be aware it does. Now let me show you something else. This, I just want to enumerate
very briefly what happened to you in the first couple of seconds when I put this on the screen.
And first of all, you read them. You read the words. Now, you didn’t intend to read
the words. You didn’t have to decide. You had to read them. You had no choice in the
matter. Second, ideas and images and memories came to mind probably none of them very pleasant.
So that’s the second thing. Another thing that happened is physical. You recoiled. This
is actually being measured. And when people are exposed to threatening word, they move
back. So the threat is to some extent to some slight extent taken to be real. The symbolic
threat is taken to be real. You made a disgust face. You experienced disgust. And that is
getting to be interesting because those things are reciprocally reinforcing. So if you make
a disgust face, you are more likely to feel disgust. If you make a smiling face, you are
more likely to think that things are funny. So you know, one of my favorite experiments
along those lines is, you take a pencil, you stick it in your mouth like that. And cartoons
will appear funnier to you. Because, when you stick a pencil into your mouth like that,
you’re making a smile. And just the sheer muscular change is enough to feedback into
our emotions and our feelings. This is all fairly important, because what it means is,
you can think of well, let me add something. Then I’ll pull it together. I think of System
1 very largely in terms of what happens in associative memory. To think of associative
memory, you can think of a gigantic network of ideas. And the ideas are linked to each
other in various way, associatively, some of them are causes of other things or categories,
example, instances of. There are many different links but you have a huge representation of
what we have in mind. And at any one time the stimulus occurs, it activates a subset
of those notes in that representation of memory and then activation spreads through the associative
network; not a lot, but it spreads some. So for example, you’re now and we can know that
it spreads, because we become sensitized to other ideas that have been activated in this
fashion. So for example, right now, if somebody whispered words in your ears, you would be
much more likely to detect and recognize words like sickness and smell, instinct, and nausea,
and hangover. A lot of the associations have been activated. You’re not aware of any of
them. You’re not aware of anything. Those are not conscious activations. But they are
activations nonetheless. And because those ideas are partially activated, weak stimulus
is going to be sufficient to bring them over threshold. This again is a very important
function of System 1 associative memory. We are prepared basically by this spreading activation
prepares things for what might come next. You will be able to recognize and respond
to things more easily than before. Then something else happens. And this is there are two words
here, banana vomit and you made a story. What happens, you know, there is really no need
to do that, but in effect, this was sufficient to create a causal link so that somehow the
bananas caused the vomit. You didn’t make a conscious decision for that to happen, but
we know that’s the kind of thing that happens. As soon as a stimulus is presented, we look
back for causes; the associative machinery looks back and latches on possible causes.
Here it’s very simple to find a cause and you know this has an effect. So temporarily,
you know, you don’t like bananas because an association has been created. And that happens
because of the causal surge. So [pause] this should give you a sense of one of the functions
of System 1. And to complete that, let me show you something else. So this is a famous
psychological demonstration. Many of you might not have seen it. You read that as A B C.
You read this as 12, 13, 14, but the B and the 13 are physically identical. So this tells
us something quite important about the way that associative machinery in System 1 work
on new stimuli. Everything is made coherent. So, in the context of letters, that ambiguous
stimulus is going to be read as a letter. In the context of numbers, it is going to
be read as a number. What is quite important, two aspects here, one is the coherence and
the other is that you are not aware of the ambiguity. The ambiguity is suppressed. That
is, you just get one interpretation. In this case, it’s a coherent interpretation. And
that is the way that the system works. It generates associatively coherent representations
of reaction to situation. Associative memory or System 1 is also very pository about world
knowledge. So when an event occurs, our reaction to it is informed by a lot of things that
we know. And I’ll give you my favorite example of this. This is people are listening to sentences
while events in their brain are recorded. An upper class male British voice says, “I
have a large tattoo, I have large tattoos all down my back.” And approximately 3/10th
of a second later the brain responds with a characteristically surprise. This is astonishing
if you stop to think about it. There was that voice. You have to classify it as an upper
class British voice. Now upper class British men don’t have tattoos down their back, something
is odd and you get a surprised reaction. You get a mobilization of System 2 because System
2 is the one that pays attention. Surprise calls attention. A male voice saying I believe
I’m pregnant of course same thing. So this system holds a world knowledge and uses a
world knowledge to classify situations as normal or abnormal and it does that at top
speed. And it updates very quickly. Well, I’ll tell you a story about updating. It updates
what it considers normal. Now, this is an anecdote. You’re free not to believe me. I
believe it because it’s a personal experience. We were some years ago on vacation in Australia
in resort all of 40 little villas and in the evening we go to have dinner first evening
and we meet a psychologist from Stanford. Ah, surprise, coincidence and we are very
delighted to meet each other. Now, two weeks later, we’re in the theater in London. And
it goes dark. And we watch. And then, the lights come back on and next to me, same guy.
Now, the important point is that I was less surprised the second time than the first.
Because “Oh, John, he is the guy I meet everywhere.” [laughter]
It takes very little time to create what we call “a norm.” So one event, the second event
links back to the first. If I had met anybody else, that is what’s impressed me. If I had
met anybody else, I would have been more surprised. And that’s odd if you think about statistically,
it’s crazy. But in fact, it was very clear that and I wouldn’t say that I consciously
expect to see John wherever I go. But, you know, if I’m going to meet someone, I’d be
prepared to meet John. [laughter]
Now, I’ve mentioned something about causal thinking. And I want to give you some sense
how that works. So it’s a question, which is more probable that a mother has blue eyes
if her daughter has blue eyes or her daughter has blue eyes if her mother has blue eyes?
Now again, as in the bat and ball, there is an intuitive response and the intuitive response
is that it’s more probable that a daughter has blue eyes if her mother has blue eyes
than the other way around. If you stop to do the math on the assumption that the incidence
of blue eyes is the same two generations the probabilities are strictly equal but even
before you do the math, your reasoning flows along causal lines. Your thinking flows along
causal lines. This happens intuitively. One of these feels okay. It feels more coherent
and the coherence that we experience can be turned into a judgment of probability. That
is, the confidence that we experience is a judgment of probability. Now, I’m going to
skip the other example. And I said earlier that people have intuitions that are not necessarily
true. And that people are confident in judgments that are not necessarily true. And I would
like to sort of present a tentative theory about how that happened. And the general idea
is very straightforward. When we’re asked a question that we cannot answer, typically
System 1 is going to come up with the answer to a related question that is easier. And
it’s going to use that answer to the wrong question, the question that hasn’t been asked
in place of the question that was asked. We call that a mechanism of substitution: substituting
an easier question for a hard one. It happens automatically. People are not aware that it
happens and it is a source of many intuitions that don’t come from expertise and they are
much less likely to be correct than the intuitions that do come from expertise but they come
with equal confidence just about. So there are several mechanisms that take part in this
substitution thing and I’d like to introduce them. One of them which I call the mental
shotgun is that when you are instructed to perform an operation, you typically perform
other operations as well that are related to it associatively, are related to the target
operation, but they are different. My favorite example is, I’ll say words and you are to
judge as quickly as possible whether the words rhyme or not. And the first pair of words
is vote note. That’s easy. The second pair of questions is vote goat. And vote goat is
substantially harder than vote no. Why? Although nobody else asked you to, you spelled. And
vote goat, there is a mismatch in spelling. Although they rhyme at least as I pronounce
them just as well as vote note, you have a conflict and the conflict slows you down.
So typically, we compute more than we intend to compute. And we can and that allows for
substitutions to take place. So let me give you an example of the substitution here. The
question here would be, “Which of the three figures is larger on the screen?” And the
answer is, “they’re equal.” All three figures on the screen are of equal size. But it’s
a very powerful illusion. We see the figure on the right as larger than the figure out
left. And we see it because we can’t help it. Although you were told to think of it
as a two-dimensional object, you compute the three-dimensional solution in which the object
on the right is in fact larger than the object on the left and that is what you see. There
are many other examples of this general process. Another one I like is called the dating heuristic.
Students are asked in a survey they’re asked a couple of questions. How happy are you and
the other is how many dates did you have last month? And if you ask the questions in that
order, the correlation is essentially zero. Turns out there are many things in life that
determine happiness and dating is not particularly important. You invert the order. So you ask
people, “How many dates did you have last month and how happy are you with your life
as a whole?” Correlation is .66. [laughter]
What has happened and this is both a heuristic and example what I call a focus and an illusion.
That you have an emotional reaction to the student has an emotional reaction to the question
about the number of dates. That emotional reaction is sitting there. Then you’re asked
the related question about happiness and without knowing that you are doing this, you substitute
one for the other. And you can do it for many questions. Now, it’s not that people are confused
what happiness is. They know happiness is not satisfaction with the number of dates.
It’s just that this is the answer that comes to mind to the happiness question. There has
been substitution and you are not aware of it. Now, there is a process that is essential
to this and this is another strange ability of System 1. We can map intensities across
different dimensions. So I’ll give you my standard example for this. It’s about Julie
who is a graduating senior and she read fluently when she was age 4 and the question is what
is her GPA? And the odd thing is that you know what her GPA is pretty much. At least
you have an idea. I mean, it’s clearly about 3.2. It’s clearly less than 4 about 3.7 maybe
which is ridiculous of course. But how do people get to 3.7 or somewhere like that?
Well, here is how it goes. She read fluently at age 4. That gives us an impression of precocity.
How precocious was she as a reader? And that people could express that in percentiles.
What is the likelihood that you could meet a child who would read faster than that? Then
when you are asked a question about what is her GPA? Without your knowing it, you are
matching the percentiles and you get the GPA that is about as extreme in the distribution
of GPA as reading at age 4 is in the distribution of reading age. Completely unaware. Statistically,
completely absurd. You should be much more regressive. This is not the correct answer.
But this is a compelling subjective answer. This is one of the mechanisms that leads to
intuitive errors this mechanism of substitution. And I’ll give you one more example. International
travels, this is an experiment. The experiment was run during a period when there were many
terrorist incidents in Europe. So that’s a background. How much will you pay for insurance
that pays 100,000 dollars in case of death for any reason? And how much would you pay
for insurance that pays 100,000 dollars in case of a death in a terror incident? People
pay much more for the second than for the first.
[laughter] And the reason that they do is that there
is an immediate response which is how afraid am I? And I am more afraid, most people are,
I’m more afraid of the idea of dying in a terrorist incident than they are afraid of
dying. And that is the mapping that takes place. Again, you know, it’s that’s the way
it works. This is the associative machinery. And when beautiful thing about it it doesn’t
get stumped. It produces an answer to questions that it doesn’t know how to answer. But it
produces them by answering easier questions and a lot of our mental life is conducted
in just this way. So let me complete the circle and talk a little bit about subjective confidence.
Subjective confidence, which is closely related to the probability of being correct, is actually
not a judgment at all. It is a feeling. It is a feeling that people have. And I think
we know where the origin of that feeling is. And it is System 1 if you will assessing the
fluency of its own processing; assessing the coherence of the story it has created to deal
with the current situation. And if the story is coherent, confidence is high. Now, this
is disastrous in some ways, because you can make a very coherent story out of very little
information and out of information that is in fact not reliable. The quality of the story
depends very little on the quality and quantity of the information so people can be very confident
with very little reason. Confidence is therefore not a good diagnostic for when you can trust
either yourself or somebody else. And if you are to evaluate whether you can trust somebody
who has a lot of confidence, that’s not the way to do it. The way to do it as I’m saying
earlier is to ask what environment have they been in? And have they had an opportunity
to learn its regularities? Subjective confidence is not a good indicator. So that’s, you know,
the story I could tell in about 45 minutes about the two systems. So let me remind you
they don’t exist. But I think you should feel free to think in those terms, because what
you may be beginning to do is, you may be beginning to have an idea of the personality
of System 1 and System 2. Now this is ridiculous, but having an idea of those personalities
will actually enable you to think better about psychological events than if you were just
had a long list of unrelated phenomena. So those ideas, those personalities, have a certain
coherence. And, you know, they’re worth something in the coin of being able to make judgments.
Okay. I think we should open for questions. So. [Applause].>>John: We have the mic up there and I also
have hand-held mics if somebody has questions. Somebody’s got to ask the first question.>>Male # 1: Hey. How fixed or plastic are
the System 1 processes? And are there thing like mindfulness or emotional regulation that
have any effect?>>Kahneman: As I have described it, System
1 can be updated in terms of content very regularly. So you can learn in one trial what
is normal and what is not normal. What is very difficult to do is to get control over
how it works, over the rules of its operation. And so, I do not know of a lot of evidence
that people, that System 1 can change unless you have a quiet skill which requires reinforced
practice. What you can do and what people clearly can do is you can educate your System
2. And you can educate and you can learn to recognize situations in which System 2 takes
over and takes control of the reaction thereby avoid some mistakes. Can’t be done too much.
But if I don’t sound optimistic about training System 1, it’s because I’m not.>>Male #2: Another question about training
System 1. You talked about reinforcement learning and the time constants and the immediacy in
building expertise, but many of the practices we have around building software development,
the time constants are somewhat longer and in particular you gave a counterexample which
was your Australia/UK visit and the fact that a single incident with John predisposed you
to that association. And so, I wonder if there has there been any testing to see what time
constants really play a role here?>>Kahneman: No. In terms of updating and
learning associations, this is something we can learn quite quickly. You can be taught
to be afraid of something without anything else happening. And so, in that sense, System
1 associative memory can be updated. And you can now be developing software expertise that
is a somewhat different story and it’s more like learning how to be a chess master. And
that takes a lot of experience. So that you and a lot of reinforcement and it had better
be effective reinforcement. Now, in the software thing, the time is to some extent not a big
problem. Because ultimately you are going to see it all together: the error you made
and the correct solutions. So time is not major factor. In learning, you know, how to
not steer a tanker, that’s reinforcement is very slow. And it’s a lot harder to learn
to do that than it is to learn to steer a smaller ship.>>Male #3: So this is a pretty broad question
so please take this whichever direction you like. But I was just wondering how these systems
come into play and how you see it in media and advertising and maybe I was thinking of
how it’s changed over time.>>Kahneman: Well, it’s very clear that advertising
is here to address System 1. It doesn’t convey information for judgments. It moves your emotions
and it creates associations. That’s what it is intended to do and it’s pretty effective.
So, a lot of politics is addressed to System 1, a lot of political messaging. The influences
of System 1 activities and you know which are really important and we should be thinking
about. It’s pretty frightening. One of my colleagues at Princeton, my younger colleagues
at Princeton, has done studies on the effects of facial characteristics on political preferences.
And it’s utterly amazing. You take 538 pairs of pictures of the two contestants for each
Congressional race and you show those pairs of pictures to Princeton students for 1/10th
of a second and you ask, “Which looks more competent?” That predicts 70% of elections.
So the impact of System 1 on the decisions we make for example, how much to pay in an
honesty box, that is something that we’re really very rarely aware of and it’s much
more than we think.>>Male #4: So in, although that you say System
1 and System 2 don’t show up as specific structures, have there been functional MRI, diffusion-spectral
imaging, diffusion-tensoral imaging studies that highlight whether System 1 is more primal
brain initial activation and System 2 is more neocortex?>>Kahneman: Well, you know, System 1 is extremely
sophisticated. So it’s not, that is in part why I don’t believe there is any simple representation
in the brain of those two systems because what I’ve called System 1 operation by their
characteristics include both innate responses and highly skilled responses. And the whole
the representation of world knowledge is in System 1. So it’s hard to classify one as
primitive. And I should add that System 2, the reasoning system as it were is not necessarily
rational. I mean, System 2 knows what it knows. It knows what we know and we don’t know a
lot. So it’s not that System 2 is infallible and that all the mistakes come from System
1. We make very significant mistakes when we think very seriously. Yes.>>Male #3: So you mention that experts when
making long-term forecasts and they trust their intuition they’re often wrong. But there
are still a lot of people who listen to them. So, is it bad for the society in general that
we listen to experts who may be just as wrong as we are and should we be worried? Should
we try to do something?>>Kahneman: I think there is a very good reason
for the demand for experts. I was referring to a particular book that you may want to
read or you may want to look for the New Yorker review of that book. It’s a book by Phil Tetlock
on political judgment where he studied forecasts in the time range of 10, 15 years of political
forecasts. And one of the interesting observations is who are the people we like to listen to
as pundits? And there are people with very high confidence who think they understand
the world. Now, they actually are worse than chance. I mean, they are worse than people
who are more hesitant. But we want them. We need them. And so, there is a real demand
for overconfidence. [laughter]>>Male #5: So as you were going through all
the slides of the various illusions, by the time you came to the three figures on the
screen, I guess I was expecting there was something. So even though the lot on the right
looked bigger, I looked again okay and they’re the same. So was that System 1 or System 2.>>Kahneman: That is clearly System 2. And
that is the way we can learn to overcome illusions both visual and cognitive. You still see it
as one larger than the other, but you know that when you see a display like that, you
shouldn’t trust your eyes. And to a similar extent you can recognize that you’re in a
situation where somebody is having too much effect on you because she’s very eloquent.
But you know the content may not be there. And so, you force yourself to be skeptical.>>Male #5: Is there any research to that effect
that people would avail that advertising is going to have an emotional effect on them?
Is there any res- let me say that I’m aware that advertising is supposed to have an emotional
effect on me activate System 1, will I be better suited to sort of ignore those things?>>Kahneman: I mean you certainly are going
to ignore it better than if you didn’t know it whether you’re capable of ignoring it altogether,
that I’m much more skeptical about. The real thing is not to expose yourself to it. Because
once you’re exposed to it, it’s going to affect you. And you know, those effects are the cues
in our world that we are not aware of can be extremely powerful. There is a whole line
of study, it’s not exactly to your point, but I must tell you that story. There is a
whole line of studies on what happens to people when they’re exposed to the idea of money.
And for example, they perform one task and there is a computer nearby and on the computer
there is a screensaver and the screensaver are dollars floating in water. Dollar bills
floating in water. That makes you selfish. It makes you reluctant to ask for the help
of others. It makes you put your chair further away from the chairs of other people when
you have to set up an interview situation. It has effects on all sorts of behaviors that
people are completely unaware of. And the links are symbolic. And you can be aware of
that. How can you resist it? We are exposed to money and it’s going to have some effect.
Now, if you’re designing an organization or if you’re designing an environment for people,
you can create an environment that will remind people of money all the time or you can create
an environment that will remind them of other things and that will control their behavior
to some extent.>>Male #2: Although possibly not one of the
big five in the personality trait categories yet, have you developed any empirical testing
that ranks people on a scale of one-to-two and shows where they fall in terms of default
behaviors.>>Kahneman: Well, there is a relevant scale
on the activity of System 2. And the bat and ball question is actually a very, very good
question. There are several examples of this. My former colleague Shane Frederick developed
that test. It’s called the Cognitive Reflection Test and the people who fail that item that
is, who say ten cents they are different in some interesting ways from the people who
are better able to make it. And let me give you an example. You ask them, you know, standard
Amazon questions. So you ordered a gift for yourself. How much will you pay extra to have
it tomorrow rather than the second business day? And the people who fail this item are
willing to pay more to get it tomorrow. So there are connections. What there isn’t and
I’m very surprised there isn’t, I don’t know there should be tests of intelligence that
are tests of System 1. That are tests of the richness and subtlety of the model of the
world that we have. All the intelligence tests that we have are tests for System 2. They’re
reasoning tests. We don’t have and I wish somebody would develop it and I hope somebody
will but, in fact, we don’t have it.>>Male #6: Hi. So this is sort of a 2-part
question. So do you find that people who are more System 1 or System 2 prone for immediate
judgments are more likely to be that way long-term like larger decisions?>>Kahneman: I don’t know enough about this.>>Male #6: Yeah.>>Kahneman: We do know that self-control and
the general activation of System 2 is an important personality characteristic. And you know its
presence in a rudimentary form at age four and has implications. The ability the test
is called The Marshmallow Test. You ask a child you can have one marshmallow now or
you can have two if you wait 15 minutes. That predicts what they will do 20 years later
remarkably well so there are things that are quite stable.>>Male #6: And the other part is that have
you encountered people who would say they have to make a decision and they’re aware
that their System 1 mind is telling them decision A their System 2 mind is telling them decision
B. What do people go with?>>Kahneman: I don’t know enough.>>Male #6: No?>>Kahneman: No, I don’t know enough. [pause]
No, I don’t know enough. It would be so dependent on circumstance whether you impose the System
2 judgment. In many cases, really System 2 just endorses what System 1 subjects to. That’s
the model you have. Sometimes you can overturn it. It’s hard work. [pause] Thank you. [Applause]

100 thoughts on “Daniel Kahneman: “Thinking, Fast and Slow” | Talks at Google”

  1. Рассказывает чертовско интересные вещи. Книга великолепна хотя и немного суховата среднего читателя не смотря на невероятный объем полезной инфы . Меня ребята вдохновляют на создание контента.)

  2. The whole picture of the thinking system explored along the same lines as Daniel.

  3. My degrees are in psychology, however, I also study hypnotherapy, neural linguistics (NLP),etc. If one desires to broaden and deepen an understanding of this topic, I suggest that you resist the urges from system 1 and explore these disciplines (hypnosis, NLP, etc.) with an open mind.. I have been practicing as a medical and clinical hypnotherapist for more than 30 years with great and predictable results. I really enjoyed this lecture.

  4. "Nobel peace prize" Given to presidents and other ilite, usually just after they have started a war and killed hundreds of thousands!!

  5. I love the piece about system 1 answering an easier question than what was asked. I have noticed that a lot with people when I ask questions and so many people answer something related without actually addressing my questions. I usually get annoyed and ask again. I guess I should not take this personal and understand this is not deliberate but automatic.

    Another thing I really liked was learning the relationship between chaotic environments and probability. So if people don't have enough order to be able to predict information, I don't need to trust their intuitions. I really don't like it when people are so confident in their knowing and I can tell they have no basis for it.

    I really need to read the whole book.

  6. this is why I love cognitive phycology. I solely implied on my institution when I chose to major in music. But lately, I rely more on my system2 to make decisions concisely cuz my experience has taught me what benefits more rather than just fit my aptitude.

    ANSWER-‘Since it’s this easy to create A CONTROLLED HUMAN by 1st placing these vunerable selected persons in an induced consistent Stockholm syndrome, where a consistent disruption to the schedule of routine daily life, 2ND than they destalize sense of self worth, 3RD than they sever the primary emotional bond-Just as the suicide bombers are triggered via clinical hypnosis and drugs, as they are initially selected through their low impulse control, which flags aggression, all these procedure steps have been used in projects like MLK ULTRA, to train and trigger assets, where victims are selected for their warrior genes with mild kinetic abnormalities-MAL 2R Gene-and in the case of selected suicide terrorists, they are 'mentally bribed' with 72 virgins, whilst being systematically raped by their male counterparts, keeping them away from females(this is quite pathetic, as to who has guaranteed as to why there should so many virgins in heaven, they could be virgin chimpanzees, for all the Suicide terrorists recruiters are aware off, and who has come back from mohammed's heaven to hold accountable why the prophet mohammed should be running a brothel of so many virgins for suicide terrorists, and what is he getting in return, but a suicide terrorist blown up in pieces, and who is exposing the billions made which money laundered, through the muslim hawala sharia law banking system, of all the 'suicide terrorists' handlers, as well as the billions made from the downfall of country's GDP when a series of suicide bombings take place='the very same suicide terrorists management team who live in luxury in countries like UK/EU/USA, where these governments have yet to confiscate the assets earned from suicide bombings-IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO

    UK Contempt of Parliament=this Sunday, Sunday, Bloody Sunday 9th December 2018 London/England-will make the current Paris demonstrations, look like Disney land-even the UK Parliament can be exposed for corruption within the legal proceedings, -will the stalling tactics used by BREXIT negotiations which has made multi billionaires of the 8 richest hedge funds+george soros, will these individuals be held accountable for any deaths incurred during the forthcoming UK riots, which culminate from these abuses?

  8. ANSWER-‘UK Contempt of Parliament=this Sunday, Sunday, Bloody Sunday 9th December 2018 London/England-will make the current Paris demonstrations, look like Disney land-even the UK Parliament can be exposed for corruption within the legal proceedings, -will the stalling tactics used by BREXIT negotiations which has made multi billionaires of the 8 richest hedge funds+george soros, will these individuals be held accountable for any deaths incurred during the forthcoming UK riots, which culminate from these abuses?Since it’s this easy to create A CONTROLLED HUMAN by 1st placing these vunerable selected persons in an induced consistent Stockholm syndrome, where a consistent disruption to the schedule of routine daily life, 2ND than they destalize sense of self worth, 3RD than they sever the primary emotional bond-Just as the suicide bombers are triggered via clinical hypnosis and drugs, as they are initially selected through their low impulse control, which flags aggression, all these procedure steps have been used in projects like MLK ULTRA, to train and trigger assets, where victims are selected for their warrior genes with mild kinetic abnormalities-MAL 2R Gene-and in the case of selected suicide terrorists, they are 'mentally bribed' with 72 virgins, whilst being systematically raped by their male counterparts, keeping them away from females(this is quite pathetic, as to who has guaranteed as to why there should so many virgins in heaven, they could be virgin chimpanzees, for all the Suicide terrorists recruiters are aware off, and who has come back from mohammed's heaven to hold accountable why the prophet mohammed should be running a brothel of so many virgins for suicide terrorists, and what is he getting in return, but a suicide terrorist blown up in pieces, and who is exposing the billions made which money laundered, through the muslim hawala sharia law banking system, of all the 'suicide terrorists' handlers, as well as the billions made from the downfall of country's GDP when a series of suicide bombings take place='the very same suicide terrorists management team who live in luxury in countries like UK/EU/USA, where these governments have yet to confiscate the assets earned from suicide bombings-IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO
    UK Contempt of Parliament=this Sunday, Sunday, Bloody Sunday 9th December 2018 London/England-will make the current Paris demonstrations, look like Disney land-even the UK Parliament can be exposed for corruption within the legal proceedings, -will the stalling tactics used by BREXIT negotiations which has made multi billionaires of the 8 richest hedge funds+george soros, will these individuals be held accountable for any deaths incurred during the forthcoming UK riots, which culminate from these abuses?

    UK Contempt of Parliament=this Sunday, Sunday, Bloody Sunday 9th December 2018 London/England-will make the current Paris demonstrations, look like Disney land-even the UK Parliament can be exposed for corruption within the legal proceedings, -will the stalling tactics used by BREXIT negotiations which has made multi billionaires of the 8 richest hedge funds+george soros, will these individuals be held accountable for any deaths incurred during the forthcoming UK riots, which culminate from these abuses?

  9. Sleepwalks on psychedelica (entheogenics) go flawless. Exactly right.
    Are there thoughts that consider or hasitate, impacting action taken ?

  10. I'm running a pron website server in catagories, studying primate decision trees.


    Peppermint motherfucker.

  11. A selfless, automated tapping into the personal matrix of memory conditioning tied to a more or less diffuse, abstract or concrete, motivator. The coreless, yet concise, expression, unfiltered, thereof.

  12. Considering the percieved, facultative purpose of synchronicity and induced ( sense of ) parallel event;
    to consider.

  13. It can not be unseen; unthought.
    How and when, in what state, such is registered, impacts the availability of that particular matter relating to the context.

  14. Go through an interactive summary of his book NOW and you'll thank me later: https://heywalnut.com/thinking-fast-and-slow-by-daniel-kahneman

  15. Jewish image should have intervened if they scraped Einstein philosophy and being on the street philosophy greater good.

  16. If you dont need the fluff, just click to minute 6:00. You're going to watch the entire things anyway and then you're going to be like, hey why didn't I listen to him. You're doing it now lol. You're welcome 😊.

  17. What's the meeting of "homunculi" ? It appears on the subs in English, minute 21:00 if someone can listen and check it and explain me please this word and the context 🤔 thanks!

  18. Serious question….nice talk and I'm about to buy the book; but for real…is there anything new in what he said? he probably formalized the ideas better, and gave good examples. But isn't most of this something many of us already new?!

  19. I think, questions about system 1 and 2 prone people, seem to miss the point. Kahneman clearly stated that there are no separate systems. We all have unconscious bias based intuition. Kahneman stated that Intuition (system 1) and rationalisation (system 2) are part of the same system of cognition. I think, the difference between people, is that there are differences in the process of rationalisation (self regulation) either due to different experiences (information) or more effective (slower or more rigourous) rationalisation.

  20. I dont find NObel prizes impressive — they are tools of propaganda to promote certaine attitudes. Henry Kissinger a WAR MONGER won a Nobel Peace Prize. GET IT!!! This is the FAKEST award in the world. Easy TRUST nobody and VETT everything multiple times —

  21. If you're interested in Kahneman's work, my latest video uses systems 1 and 2 and substitution to look at why the UK is so divided over Brexit

  22. The real bias, is the bias against 'biases'. In real time, these biases/heuristics lead directly and indirectly into new insights. For example, with confirmation bias, it helps serve as empirical evidence towards what we believe . For example, with confirmation bias if "we tend to confirm information we believe" through multiple lines of information, in a certain situation, then there is probably something factual about what we believe, and we know its safe to spend more time on rigorously justifying/proving it. Where as linear thinkers tend to miss on the opportunity. That is a tenant of EMPIRICISM – NOT A BIAS. There is a difference between using a bias to make a quick and impulsive decision in a trivial situation, for which there is little at stake, and using a sense of our biases (in harmony with rationality) towards solving critical problems. In effect, these anti-bias proponents are merely talented straw-man engineers; mostly achievement < IQ types and graying anglophiles who indulge in a deluded sense of intellectual worth.

  23. "It's not a case of: 'Read this book and then you'll think differently. I've written this book, and I don't think differently."
    – Daniel Kahneman

    My favorite quote of his that encapsulates perfectly what he is saying.

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