Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow


Daniel Kahneman

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Themes and Colors
Intuition, Deliberation, and Laziness Theme Icon
Human Fallibility and Overconfidence Theme Icon
Stories and Subjectivity vs. Statistics and Objectivity Theme Icon
Choices, Losses, and Gains Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Thinking, Fast and Slow, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Intuition, Deliberation, and Laziness

Daniel Kahneman’s primary aim in Thinking, Fast and Slow is to explain human problem-solving, decision-making, and behavioral economics for those without psychology degrees. In order to do that, Kahneman first introduces readers to two ways in which people think, which he calls “System 1” and “System 2.” System 1 handles involuntary, automatic processing, and is often associated with intuition. Peoples’ intuitions are often right, but in certain circumstances, System 1 makes key judgmental errors…

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Human Fallibility and Overconfidence

After introducing the two modes of thinking he calls “System 1” and “System 2,” Kahneman illuminates some of the underlying fallacies people rely on as they process information. In addition to humans’ natural tendency towards laziness, people also tend to be overconfident in their abilities to correctly answer questions and make calculations. This overconfidence leads not only to biased conclusions based on a person’s subjective experiences, but often leads to outright error.

In order to…

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Stories and Subjectivity vs. Statistics and Objectivity

Humans are natural storytellers; they attempt to make sense of the world by attaching stories to events that occur. Because of this, Kahneman explains, humans have a difficult time reckoning with purely statistical or numerical information and they underestimate the randomness in the world. One of the biggest difficulties that people face in making decisions or analyzing data is when they are presented with statistical information in conjunction with a narrative about the same principle…

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Choices, Losses, and Gains

In 2002, Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in behavioral economics, namely his development of prospect theory with Amos Tversky. Prior to prospect theory, economic theorists believed that the value of money was the sole determinant in explaining why people buy, spend, and gamble in the way that they do. Prospect theory (explained over the course of several chapters of Thinking, Fast and Slow) argues that people’s choices are…

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