Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Danny Kahneman (1934-2024)

 Danny Kahneman passed away today.

Here's the Washington Post obituary:

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel-winning economist, dies at 90. He found that people rely on shortcuts that often lead them to make wrongheaded decisions that go against their own best interest  By Chris Powe

"Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli-American psychologist and best-selling author whose Nobel Prize-winning research upended economics — as well as fields ranging from sports to public health — by demonstrating the extent to which people abandon logic and leap to conclusions, died March 27. He was 90.

"His death was confirmed by his stepdaughter Deborah Treisman, the fiction editor for the New Yorker. She did not say where or how he died.


"Dr. Kahneman took a dim view of people’s ability to think their way through a problem. “Many people are overconfident, prone to place too much faith in their intuitions,” he wrote in his popular 2011 book “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” “They apparently find cognitive effort at least mildly unpleasant and avoid it as much as possible.”

"Dr. Kahneman spent much of his career working alongside psychologist Amos Tversky, who he said deserved much of the credit for their prizewinning work. But Tversky died in 1996, and the Nobel is never awarded posthumously.

"Both men were atheist grandsons of Lithuanian rabbis, and both had studied and lectured at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Their three-decade friendship and close collaboration, chronicled in Michael Lewis’s 2016 book “The Undoing Project,” was a study in opposites.

"According to Lewis, Tversky was the life of the party; Dr. Kahneman never even went. Tversky had a mechanical pencil on his desk and nothing else; Dr. Kahneman’s office was full of books and articles he never finished. Still, Dr. Kahneman said, at times it was as if “we were sharing a mind.” They worked so closely together that they tossed a coin to decide whose name would go first on an article or a book.

"Their research helped establish the field of behavioral economics, which applies psychological insights to the study of economic decision-making, but also had a far-reaching effect outside the academy. "

No comments: