Sunday, December 25, 2011

System 1 vs. System 2

Below are the notes I took when reading Part I of Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, fast and slow."

"I describe System 1 as effortlessly originating impressions and feelings that are the main sources of the explicit beliefs and deliberate choices of System 2. the automatic operations of System 1 generate surprisingly complex patterns of ideas, but only the slower System 2 can construct thoughts in an orderly series of steps. "

"Intense focusing on a task can make people effectively blind, even to stimuli that normally attract attention... The gorilla study illustrates two important facts about our minds: we can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blink to our blindness."

"System 1 is impulsive and intuitive; system 2 is capable of reasoning, and it is cutions, but at least for some people it is also lazy." This laziness is especially true when people are ego-depleted, as demonstrated by this disturbing PNAS study.

"Priming phenomena arise in System 1, and you have no conscious access to them. "

"Money-primed people become more independent than they would be without the associative trigger...the idea of money primes individualism: a reluctance to be involved with others, to depend on others, or to accept demands from others. "

"Mood evidently affects the operation of System 1: when we are uncomfortable and unhappy, we lose tough with our intuition...good mood, intuition, creativity, gullibility, and increased reliance on System 1 form a cluster, At the other pole, sadness, vigilance, suspicion, and analytic approach, and increased effort also go together. A happy mood loosens the control of System 2 over performance: when in a good mood, people become more intuitive and more creative but also less vigilant and more prone to logical errors. "

"I am in a very good mood today, and my System 2 is weaker than usual. I should be extra careful."

"We are evidently ready from birth to have impressions of causality, which do not depend on reasoning about patterns of causation. They are product of System 1."

To avoid being affected by the halo effect and "to derive the most useful information form multiple sources of evidence, you should always try to make these sources independent of each other...the principle of independent judgment has immediate applications for the conduct of meetings, an activity in which executives in organizations spend a great deal of their working days. A simple rule can help: before an issue is discussed, all members of the committee should be asked to write a very brief summary of their position. This procedure makes good use of the value of the diversity of knowledge and opinion in the group. The stranded practice of open discussion gives too much weight to the opinions of those who speak early and assertively, causing others to line up behind them "

"System 1 is radically insensitive to both the quality and the quantity of the information that gives rise to impressions and intuitions."

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