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The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

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$28.95 (as of February 17, 2018, 11:17 pm) $9.98

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How a Nobel Prize–winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.

Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work imaginable. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.

The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and at the battlefield―both had vital careers in the Israeli military―and their research used to be deeply linked to their ordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky used to be a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, used to be an introvert whose questing self-doubt used to be the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the most greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t needless to say whose brain originated which ideas, or who must claim credit. They flipped a coin to make a decision the lead authorship at the first paper they wrote, and simply alternated thereafter.

This story about the workings of the human mind is explored through the personalities of two fascinating individuals so fundamentally different from each and every other that they seem unlikely friends or colleagues. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind’s view of its own mind.

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