Nobel Prize winning psychologist and bestselling author of Thinking, Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman, joined Ben Newell, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at UNSW Sydney, to discuss his work ahead of the release of his latest book. A psychologist whose work on the foundations of behavioural economics was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, Daniel Kahneman has had an enormous impact on our understanding of how we think, and the process behind how and why we make good and bad decisions.
In his new book, Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement, Kahneman (with Olivier Sibony and Cass Sunstein) explores our susceptibility to ‘noise’ – the random factors and mental distractions that interfere with the judgement and decisions of organisations and individuals. Although we now try to acknowledge the impact of bias, ‘noise’ is even more common, but there is little awareness of it. Can we reduce both noise and bias to make better decisions?
I think it is true that a lot of thinking is automatic and intuitive and not founded on logical reasoning and yet completely convincing and compelling. I think that most of the things we believe, we believe for reasons that have very little to do with logic or reasoning.
Daniel Kahneman is best known for his work with Amos Tversky on human judgment and decision making, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. Kahneman has also studied a number of other topics including the memory of experiences, attention, well-being, counterfactual thinking, and behavioural economics. He published Thinking, Fast and Slow in 2010, which has sold more than seven million copies worldwide. A new book titled Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment (with Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein) will be published in May 2021.
Ben Newell is a Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Deputy Head of the School of Psychology at UNSW Sydney. His research focuses on the cognitive processes underlying judgment, choice and decision making, and their relationship to environmental, medical, financial and forensic contexts. He is the lead author of Straight Choices: The Psychology of Decision Making. He is currently an Associate Editor of the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, on the Editorial Boards of Thinking & Reasoning, Decision, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making and Judgment & Decision Making. Ben is a member of the inaugural Academic Advisory Panel of the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government.