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Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#1 by CataclysmicKnight
» 21 May 2017, 13:27

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Nicholas Cross.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by CataclysmicKnight
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Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman by Nicholas Cross is a short and sweet unofficial summary of Daniel Kahneman's New York Times bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow. Nicholas Cross with Books Made Easy takes the 528 page original and condenses it into only 54, nearly 10% of the size, and ends the book with a few questions to help put the ideas of the book to work.

The basic premise of thinking fast and slow is that the brain is broken into two systems - System 1 and System 2. System 1 thinks spontaneously, makes quick assumptions and "thinks fast" while System 2 is logical, ponders over things and "thinks slow". The book then focuses on 48 heuristics that deal with the way the two systems can interact and lead to issues, falsehoods and pitfalls in our everyday lives.

Nicholas breaks down the 38 chapters of the original, most of which are done in just a page or two. After the first few chapters set up the concept of fast and slow thinking, the rest focus on between 1-3 heuristics. Many of these are things we've dealt with in our lives, but now they've been given names. "The Availability Heuristic", for example, states that our own experiences make things seem more or less likely than they are. If you get mugged, for example, you're likely to believe muggings are more common than they really are. If a friend gets cancer you'll worry about it too, but the danger is that if no one you knows gets cancer you're likely to not worry about it yourself. "Availability Cascades" are similar but based on the news - if the news has lots of reports about gang violence, for example, then one is likely to believe they're far more likely than they actually are. "Ignoring Our Two Selves" explains why a fantastic day can be looked back upon as awful if only one bad thing happens, or how if thirty people tell you that you look great but one tells you that you look awful, you'll often believe the one bad comment over the thirty compliments. The "Sunk Cost Fallacy" was one I was aware of before the book thanks to Geoff Engelstein's Ludology podcast. The gist of it is that we have problems cutting our losses - if someone spends $100 on an item and hates it, they're likely to continue using it anyway to "get their money's worth".

What's fantastic about the book is that even though the chapters are so short and each discuss some rather complex concepts, they're expressed in an easy-to-follow, smooth way. I never had to go back and re-read things, and I almost always felt like I grasped the concept immediately. The use of examples in nearly all of the heuristics made it much easier, and it's really wild to consider how much the "fast thinking" part of our brain can be subconsciously affected by advertising, the news and other people.

While I had never heard of the original source book Thinking, Fast and Slow and certainly have never read it, I really enjoyed this summary. It's intended for use along with the original, but even without it I learned a great deal in an incredibly short amount of time, and a lot of it stuck with me. It also gave me a lot to think about in my daily life! The book was incredibly welcoming and anyone can easily dive in, spend an hour or two reading it and come out with their eyes opened to the perils of "thinking fast". My official rating is a very solid 4 out of 4 stars - aside from a few chapters needing a little more depth and examples the book was exceptional!

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Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#2 by Maria Vicvic
» 21 May 2017, 23:12

Thanks for an enlightening review. I'm curious of what are "the perils of thinking fast" that I also wanted to read the book.
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#3 by Richie121
» 22 May 2017, 03:39

Thank you.
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#4 by Chrys Brobbey
» 22 May 2017, 13:54

Condensing a book of 528 pages into 54 pages takes really an effort. I really wonder if it captures the whole essence of the book. However, it makes it easier and more attractive to read. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#5 by southspain
» 22 May 2017, 14:02

sounds interesting
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#6 by Jaime Lync
» 22 May 2017, 17:42

Great review. A summary of such a long but good book sounds agreeable.
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#7 by Jeverson Ladublan
» 23 May 2017, 01:45

It was amazing knowing that from 528 pages turned into 54 pages. Me as a reader will not be bored reading this type of book since it was short but the risking part of summarizing the whole story to make it short was that the essence of the real scenario of the story will change a lot. I hope it will not. The story was interesting 😀
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#8 by Miriam Molina
» 23 May 2017, 02:02

Thank you for the very informative review. While I do not think I would want to read the original book, the summary seems something that will give me a good taste of the original. An hour or two spent learning about how the mind works is a good investment. The examples mentioned in the review all spoke clearly to me.
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#9 by VINOLIA MARUMO
» 23 May 2017, 03:45

I would love to read it too! sounds very interesting!
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#10 by Shakiz amani mbaire
» 23 May 2017, 14:20

Great book. I would also love to read the book as it's about thinking either slow or fast.Nice
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#11 by Dayang Siti Zuraida
» 31 May 2017, 19:31

Its make me to use both of my 2 parts of brain in a maximum level. Can I?
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#12 by Uche ohaka ifegwu
» 07 Jun 2017, 14:12

A book that contains 528 pages portrays a lots of informations,but cutting into 54 summativess pages i doubt if it will portrays the same hundreds massages innonciated by the author,with this i have understand that we out to think slow and fast,which remasins inevitable to man
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#13 by gaporter
» 13 Jun 2017, 10:46

I have read the original Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and I'm hesitant to think what the information might have been cut out in the summary. I have to admit, the book dragged and was very long. But it contained a lot of important psychological (and economic) principals that should be given more consideration in our society. If a bite-sized summary gives people the motivation to look to the original source, that's great. But sometimes incomplete information is worse than no information at all, you know?
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#14 by Katherine Smith
» 13 Jun 2017, 12:51

I love your review and many of the heuristics that you mentioned I had heard of from my social psychology class. The Availability Cascade does relate to me and the local news that I watch. Every time I watch the local news, it seems like there is a lot of gang violence or violent crimes, but many of these neighborhoods only experience crime intermittently. I also was interested in the Ignoring Our Two Selves which is a very interesting concept.
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Re: Official Review: Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Post Number:#15 by Rosemary Okoko
» 20 Jun 2017, 04:00

This is very true. I would like to read this book and learn more about how we think. Thanks to the author for getting a rating of 4 stars. Nice review.
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