My distractions

The Undoing Project

This book (The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis)  centers around the story of a friendship between Daniel K ahneman and Amos Tversky. The story moves steadily and is quite a page turner following the development of these two geniuses whose ideas really gelled through their collaboration. Their careers have affected more than the world of psychology and reach into the world I am familiar with (medicine) as well as economics, aeronautics, engineering, politics, and more. We have all been influenced by the research and findings of these two heavyweights, and this story is a fun and enlightening read describing their struggles, life experiences, research, and findings.

In the past, I read the book Thinking, Fast and Slow, which was written by Kahneman. I did not realize what a brilliant mind he was and now want to re-read that book. Maybe now I will understand the content better!

There are some great statements in this book, which I am quoting here for my reference.

"When you are a pessimist and the bad thing happens, you live it twice ... once when you worry about it, and the second time when it happens." -Amos Tversky

"A part of good science is to see what everyone else can see but think what no one else has ever said." -Amos Tversky

"The difference between being very smart and very foolish is often very small." -Amos Tversky

"So many problems occur when people fail to be obedient when they are supposed to be obedient, and fail to be creative when they are supposed to be creative." -Amos Tversky

"It is sometimes easier to make the world a better place than to prove you have made the world a better place." -Amos Tversky

These behavioral psychologists illustrated several important concepts. They described how you value the second thousand dollars you get your hands on a bit less than you do the first thousand.

They also noted how people regretted what they had done, and what they wished they hadn't done, far more than what they had not done and perhaps should have.

"Reality is a cloud of possibility, not a point." -Amos Tversky

"What is a marriage if not an agreement to distort one's perception of another, in relation to everyone else?" -Amos Tversky

We see evidence of their research throughout our world now. As they described, people don't choose between things, they choose between description of things. For instance, the reason we have the MyPlate campaign is due to their influence. We respond better to this framing than to a food pyramid.

This whole subject is massive and fascinating and at the same time so complicated it is difficult to describe!



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