Thinking, Fast and Slow

If you are interested in finding out more about why and how humans make choices and our (ir)rationality then Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is definitely for you. This book has informed, influenced, and changed the way I think about many things, and provided the psychological understanding and evidence for many other important ideas.

An example of this is the parameters under which skill and expertise can be developed. With the recent attention given to Ericsson’s 10 year/10,000 hour rule of expertise, it has become apparent that the rule holds up better in some environments and settings than others. Kahneman identifies 3 conditions that must be present for skill/expertise to develop:

1) an environment that is regular enough to be predictable (for example, this is the purpose of the rules in sport)

2) an opportunity to learn these regularities through prolonged practice (Ericsson provides some specific parameters for deliberate practice)

3) rapid and clear feedback about the correctness of thoughts and actions (Ericsson and others also identify the critical role of a coach/teacher/mentor in skill development)

If these conditions are not present, then skill/expertise cannot reliably be developed. An example of this would be the stock market. This is why so many (and the existing evidence) argue against the utility of financial advisors. While some have experienced success, it is primarily due to luck as opposed to skill/expertise that is readily repeatable.

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2 thoughts on “Thinking, Fast and Slow

  1. Pingback: Nudge | The Performance of Your Life

  2. Pingback: The Sports Gene | The Performance of Your Life

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