April 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Daniel Kahneman: Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist, dies

Daniel Kahneman: Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist, dies

Image source, Getty Images

Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has died at the age of 90.

He became synonymous with behavioral economics, even though he had never taken an economics course.

Kahneman wrote his best-selling book Thinking, Fast and Slow. He debunked the idea that people are rational beings who act out of self-interest – they act on instinct, he said.

His death was announced by Princeton University, where he had worked since 1993.

“Danny was a giant in the field, a Princeton star, a brilliant man, and a great colleague and friend,” Professor Eldar Shafir said.

“Many areas of the social sciences have not been the same since he arrived on the scene. We will miss him greatly.”

Kahneman was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1934, and spent most of his early years in Nazi-occupied France, where his father worked as head of research at a chemical factory.

The family moved to what was then Palestine under British rule in 1948, just before the establishment of the State of Israel.

Kahneman graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1954, then went to the United States four years later to begin doctoral studies in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Kahneman returned to Jerusalem in 1961 to begin his academic career as a lecturer in psychology, where he met Amos Tversky – the cognitive psychologist with whom he won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002.

The book explained the psychology of decision making. It identifies two systems that drive the way humans think and make choices – the fast, intuitive, emotional system – and the slower, more deliberative, more logical system.

The book argues that most of the time, our quick, intuitive mind is in control, taking charge of the decisions we make every day – rather than the deliberative, logical part of our minds – and this is where errors can creep in.