62 Daniel Kahneman Quotes On Business And Happiness

Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and military leaders – not average people.

They got to where they are by seeking challenges and taking risks.

If people are failing, they look inept. If people are succeeding, they look strong and good and competent. That’s the ‘halo effect.’ Your first impression of a thing sets up your subsequent beliefs. If the company looks inept to you, you may assume everything else they do is inept.

We’re blind to our blindness. We have very little idea of how little we know. We’re not designed to know how little we know.

Employers who violate rules of fairness are punished by reduced productivity, and merchants who follow unfair pricing policies can expect to lose sales.

Optimism is normal, but some fortunate people are more optimistic than the rest of us. If you are genetically endowed with an optimistic bias, you hardly need to be told that you are a lucky person – you already feel fortunate.

An investment said to have an 80% chance of success sounds far more attractive than one with a 20% chance of failure. The mind can’t easily recognize that they are the same.

I used to hold a unitary view, in which I proposed that only experienced happiness matters, and that life satisfaction is a fallible estimate of true happiness.

For many people, commuting is the worst part of the day, and policies that can make commuting shorter and more convenient would be a straightforward way to reduce minor but widespread suffering

Hindsight bias makes surprises vanish

Experienced happiness refers to your feelings, to how happy you are as you live your life. In contrast, the satisfaction of the remembering self refers to your feelings when you think about your life.

By their very nature, heuristic shortcuts will produce biases, and that is true for both humans and artificial intelligence, but the heuristics of AI are not necessarily the human ones.
True intuitive expertise is learned from prolonged experience with good feedback on mistakes.

The brains of humans contain a mechanism that is designed to give priority to bad news.
We think, each of us, that we’re much more rational than we are. And we think that we make our decisions because we have good reasons to make them. Even when it’s the other way around. We believe in the reasons, because we’ve already made the decision.

We don’t see very far in the future, we are very focused on one idea at a time, one problem at a time, and all these are incompatible with rationality as economic theory assumes it.
It’s a wonderful thing to be optimistic. It keeps you healthy and it keeps you resilient.
People just hate the idea of losing. Any loss, even a small one, is just so terrible to contemplate that

they compensate by buying insurance, including totally absurd policies like air travel.

Nothing in life is quite as important as you think it is while you’re thinking about it.

When people evaluate their life, they compare themselves to a standard of what a successful life is, and it turns out that standard tends to be universal: People in Togo and Denmark have the same idea of what a good life is, and a lot of that has to do with money and material prosperity.

Adaptation seems to be, to a substantial extent, a process of reallocating your attention.

Many ideas happen to us. We have intuition, we have feeling, we have emotion, all of that happens, we don’t decide to do it. We don’t control it.

The experiencing self lives in the moment; it is the one that answers the question, ‘Does it hurt?’ or ‘What were you thinking about just now?’ The remembering self is the one that answers questions about the overall evaluation of episodes or periods of one’s life, such as a stay in the hospital or the years since one left college.

The planning fallacy is that you make a plan, which is usually a best-case scenario. Then you assume that the outcome will follow your plan, even when you should know better.

People like leaders who look like they are dominant, optimistic, friendly to their friends, and quick on the trigger when it comes to enemies. They like boldness and despise the appearance of timidity and protracted doubt.

Intuitive diagnosis is reliable when people have a lot of relevant feedback. But people are very often willing to make intuitive diagnoses even when they’re very likely to be wrong.

Economists think about what people ought to do. Psychologists watch what they actually do.

The effort invested in ‘getting it right’ should be commensurate with the importance of the decision
All of us would be better investors if we just made fewer decisions.

Doubting what you see is a very odd experience. And doubting what you remember is a little less odd than doubting what you see. But it’s also a pretty odd experience, because some memories come with a very compelling sense of truth about them, and that happens to be the case even for memories that are not true.

If there is time to reflect, slowing down is likely to be a good idea.

Policy makers, like most people, normally feel that they already know all the psychology and all the sociology they are likely to need for their decisions. I don’t think they are right, but that’s the way it is.

We have a very narrow view of what is going on.
It’s very difficult to distinguish between what a person believes and what they say they believe.

Negotiations over a shrinking pie are especially difficult because they require an allocation of losses. People tend to be much more easygoing when they bargain over an expanding pie.

There are domains in which expertise is not possible. Stock picking is a good example. And in long-term political strategic forecasting, it’s been shown that experts are just not better than a dice-throwing monkey.

If you’re going to be unreligious, it’s likely going to be due to reflecting on it and finding some things that are hard to believe.

When you analyze happiness, it turns out that the way you spend your time is extremely important.
People are very complex. And for a psychologist, you get fascinated by the complexity of human beings, and that is what I have lived with, you know, in my career all of my life, is the complexity of human beings.

People’s mood is really determined primarily by their genetic make-up and personality, and in the second place by their immediate context, and only in the third and fourth place by worries and concerns and other things like that.

It’s not a case of: ‘Read this book and then you’ll think differently. I’ve written this book, and I don’t think differently.

It’s nonsense to say money doesn’t buy happiness, but people exaggerate the extent to which more money can buy more happiness.

Clearly, the decision-making that we rely on in society is fallible. It’s highly fallible, and we should know that.

It’s clear that policymakers and economists are going to be interested in the measurement of well-being primarily as it correlates with health; they also want to know whether researchers can validate subjective responses with physiological indices.

It’s clear that policymakers and economists are going to be interested in the measurement of well-being primarily as it correlates with health; they also want to know whether researchers can validate subjective responses with physiological indices.

Clearly, the decision-making that we rely on in society is fallible. It’s highly fallible, and we should know that.

We have no reason to expect the quality of intuition to improve with the importance of the problem. Perhaps the contrary: high-stake problems are likely to involve powerful emotions and strong impulses to action.

Alternative descriptions of the same reality evoke different emotions and different associations.

There’s a lot of randomness in the decisions that people make.

Poverty is clearly one source of emotional suffering, but there are others, like loneliness. A policy to reduce the loneliness of the elderly would certainly reduce suffering.

All of us roughly know what memory is. I mean, memory is sort of the storage of the past. It’s the storage of our personal experiences. It’s a very big deal.

Slow thinking has the feeling of something you do. It’s deliberate.

The idea that you can ask one question and it makes the point – well, that wasn’t how psychology was done at the time.

My interest in well-being evolved from my interest in decision making – from raising the question of whether people know what they will want in the future and whether the things that people want for themselves will make them happy.

You’re surprised by something, but you don’t really know what surprised you; you recognize someone, but you don’t really know what cues cause you to recognize that person.

So your emotional state really has a lot to do with what you’re thinking about and what you’re paying attention to.

Suppose you like someone very much. Then, by a familiar halo effect, you will also be prone to believe many good things about that person – you will be biased in their favor. Most of us like ourselves very much, and that suffices to explain self-assessments that are biased in a particular direction.

We are very influenced by completely automatic things that we have no control over, and we don’t know we’re doing it.

Friends are sometimes a big help when they share your feelings. In the context of decisions, the friends who will serve you best are those who understand your feelings but are not overly impressed by them.

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