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The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds van [Lewis, Michael]
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The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds Kindle-editie

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Kindle, 6 dec 2016
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Lengte: 369 pagina's Verbeterd lettertype: Ingeschakeld Bladeren: Ingeschakeld
Taal: Engels

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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 possible. 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 on the battlefield—both had important careers in the Israeli military—and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. Amos Tversky was a brilliant, self-confident warrior and extrovert, the center of rapt attention in any room; Kahneman, a fugitive from the Nazis in his childhood, was an introvert whose questing self-doubt was the seedbed of his ideas. They became one of the greatest partnerships in the history of science, working together so closely that they couldn’t remember whose brain originated which ideas, or who should claim credit. They flipped a coin to decide the lead authorship on 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 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.


  • Editie: Kindle-editie
  • Bestandsgrootte: 1484 KB
  • Printlengte: 369 pagina's
  • Uitgever: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 editie (6 december 2016)
  • Verkocht door: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Taal: Engels
  • ASIN: B01GI6S7EK
  • Tekst-naar-spraak: Ingeschakeld
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  • Verbeterd lettertype: Ingeschakeld
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Meest waardevolle klantenrecensies op (bèta) (er kunnen recensies van Early Reviewer Rewards-programma bij zitten) 4.2 van 5 sterren 954 recensies
367 van 392 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
5.0 van 5 sterren An intellectual adventure that only Michael Lewis could do justice 6 december 2016
door Jacob Anthony - Gepubliceerd op
Thanks to works like Psychonomics: The Scientific Conquest of the Human Mind, we know that the field of Behavioral Economics is a kind of wild west of the sciences, filled with speculation, outlaws, and not a little shenanigans. And yet it is by far the most fascinating and controversial science on the popular stage. The Undoing Project is the epic story of how it all came to be.

It is a story that only Michael Lewis could write. With his characteristic accessibility and knack for turning the complex into palatable pieces, Lewis presents the foundations of the science by crafting a story about its two visionary scholars, Daniel Kahneman and the late Amos Tversky.

In so doing, Lewis gives a face to the theories and ideas that we have all become so aware of in the last ten or fifteen years: The Anchoring Effect, Framing, Overconfidence Bias, Regression to the Mean, Halo Effect. These and other “cognitive biases” have become familiar scientific concepts. The story of the friendship between Kahneman and Tversky brings to life what could otherwise be dull and mathematical.

This book is admittedly less plot-driven than other Lewis gems like The Blind Side, The Big Short, and even Moneyball. The story of Kahneman and Tversky is not necessarily made of the big screen. And Lewis does pay attention to the math to a degree that some readers will have to skip ahead (as he suggests). Still, Lewis’ mastery of storytelling makes even this kind of material a gripping and endearing tale.

One thing that stood out to me is just how different Kahneman and Tversky were. How they came together from similar backgrounds, approached life from different angles, agreed to set off on their intellectual journey together, and collaborated on some of the greatest psychological studies of the 20th century sets us up for a classic buddy story—an intellectual Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid if you will. On second thought, it might be good for a movie after all.
221 van 243 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
3.0 van 5 sterren Must release an edited version 22 december 2016
door Athan - Gepubliceerd op
Geverifieerde aankoop
With no doubt, I had great fun reading “The Undoing Project.”

I was introduced to the work of Tversky and Kahneman as a college sophomore in 1988 by my teacher, hydrologist Joseph Harrington, who was a great admirer of their ideas. The beauty of what is now called “Prospect Theory” has inevitably stuck with me since. It is only in retrospect that I have come to understand it was radical for its time.

So I swallowed whole “Thinking About Thinking” within a week of having read the Michael Lewis review on Bloomberg. And I’ve since really enjoyed the recent near-autobiography of Richard Thaler’s, as well as many of Dan Ariely’s books.

Well, you don’t have to believe me on this, but Michael Lewis actually explains the concepts better!

No joke, he really does.

And he provides an unbelievably deep, personal and sensitive account of the explosive relationship between the two giants. A very believable account too. The research done by Michael Lewis really shows. He’s had phenomenal access too, it seems.

And yet, the book does not hang together terribly well. Chapters 1 and 8 should not have made it into the book, they ought to have been relegated to the pages of Vanity Fair, where the author regularly provides fantastic material.

More to the point, what we have here is a bunch of chapters that, chronological order notwithstanding, do not constitute a book. The incredible material, the wonderful expositions, the deep insights are all present and correct, but they fail to meld into a narrative. Even the title of the book, much as it has its roots in the work of Tversky and Kahneman, does not do justice to their contribution.

It really pains me to say this, especially because the author’s previous effort, “Flash Boys,” was a genuine five-star book. Perhaps that’s the problem. Maybe if I was reading this straight off of “Boomerang” I’d have found it great. As it stands, I’m not sure I could recommend it to the general public.

If, on the other hand, you have the remotest interest in Behavioral Economics, you genuinely can’t not read “The Undoing Project” and you are guaranteed to enjoy it.
7 van 7 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
4.0 van 5 sterren A great story, well told. but perhaps missing something important to you 5 april 2017
door Wally Bock - Gepubliceerd op
Geverifieerde aankoop
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, by Michael Lewis, is a well-written story about two people who developed some important ideas. This book is a well-told story, but that’s both its strength and its weakness.

The story is about the ideas and relationship of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. They are two Israeli psychologists who wrote a paper that was published in the journal Science in 1974 about the systematic ways that we often make mistakes in our thinking and decision-making. Knowing that, here are some ideas about who will like this book.

Who Should Read This Book

If you’ve heard something about heuristics and biases in decision-making, or if someone has recommended that you read Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Slow, but you don’t know if you’re quite ready for that, this book will be a great read. By telling the story about the development of the ideas that Kahneman and Tversky produced, you get a brief introduction to most of them and to why they’re important.

If you like good stories about how creative people work together to produce great things, you should like this book, too. Kahneman/Tversky’s relationship was what some psychologists call a “fertile pair.” It is as much an intellectual marriage as it is a partnership, and the story of the relationship is intertwined with the development of both the ideas and the participants.

If what you want is a simple introduction to heuristics and biases in decision-making, this probably won’t do the trick. It’s the story of how two psychologists developed their thinking, so you’ll pick up some things, but it’s the story of the relationship of Tversky and Kahneman and not a treatise on heuristics and biases.

What’s in the Book

Lewis opens the book with a story about Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, and how he set out to use data to improve the decisions involved in running that team by basing those decisions on evidence, data. He quickly discovered that while data was important, there seemed to be problems in the way that people used data, the way they think. No matter how good the data is, human beings make predictable and systematic errors in the way we think and make decisions. The work of Tversky and Kahneman is all about those predictable and systematic errors.

From the Rockets, Lewis takes us to World War II and occupied Paris to introduce us to the young Daniel Kahneman. He migrates to Israel where he and Amos Tversky meet. Kahneman is quiet and self-effacing and French. Lewis describes Tversky as “a swaggering sabra. They form one of the most productive partnerships in modern science, even though they are very different people.

That difference is a source of tension and problems, but it’s also the source of the rich ideas they developed together. Because it’s a story about their relationship and not a book about decision-making, Lewis leaves out a lot. For example, if you only read this book, you will think that Kahneman and Tversky coined the phrase “heuristics.” (Location 2407) That’s not the case.

One of my majors in college was Management Science. I learned there were basically three kinds of problems. Some problems could be reliably solved with a recipe. If you got the right ingredients and put them through the right process, you would get a reliably good solution. Other problems required creative solutions because they were unique.

Between those two, there was a class of decisions which I learned could be solved with heuristics, which were defined as guidelines or rules of thumb. Don Sull’s recent book, Simple Rules, is a good introduction to that way of thinking.

Lewis is writing a book about Kahneman and Tversky and their relationship and their work. He includes things which help tell that story. He leaves out thing which don’t help move the story along. And he does everything he can to help us see the world through the lens of the Kahneman/Tversky relationship.

Take the case of Gerd Gigerenzer. He’s a German psychologist. If the only thing you read about him is Lewis’s book, you’ll see him as an irrational and jealous opponent of Kahneman and Tversky. But that’s not the whole story, by a long shot.

Gigerenzer comes from the point of view of Herman Simon, the American psychologist who gave us the terms “suboptimize” and “satisfice.” Gigerenzer starts from the idea that humans have bounded rationality and he sees heuristics (decision rules) as a way to make decision-making in certain situations better and faster. You might want to know more about his background, and thoughts, but Michael Lewis only gives you the part of his work that’s relevant for his story about Kahneman and Tversky.

Bottom Line

If you want to read a great story of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky and the ideas they developed, pick up this book and read it. You’ll love it.

If all you want is an introduction to those ideas without the story of their development, read Kahneman and Tversky’s 1974 paper from the journal Science. The title is “Judgement Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases.” The basics that they outline there still rule a lot of the discussion.

If you want a brief but helpful discussion of heuristics as guidelines or rules of thumb, pick up a copy of Don Sull’s book, Simple Rules.

If you want to go deep into Kahneman and Tversky’s ideas, you’re going to have to pick up Kahneman’s great book, Thinking Fast and Slow. It’s a book that will take some effort to read because the ideas are dense, and even though they are well-presented, they’re not cloaked in the clothes of story. If you’re willing to do the work, though, Thinking Fast and Slow may be one of the most important books you ever read. It’s that importance that spurred Michael Lewis on to writing The Undoing Project.
138 van 153 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
5.0 van 5 sterren Absolutely wonderful. Michael Lewis successfully blends two biographies 8 december 2016
door S. Yates - Gepubliceerd op
4.5 stars. Absolutely wonderful. Michael Lewis successfully blends two biographies, an intellectual love story (there really is no other way to describe the Kahneman/Tversky partnership), astute sketches of the work they did (in heuristics and biases), and how the partnership had ripple effects in a myriad of areas (from economics to psychology, from medicine to the military, and beyond). The book moves at a brisk pace, never dull, and fleshes out the men behind the scientific work. This vantage point into where Kahneman and Tversky came from, the events that shaped them, their intellectual make-ups, and the alchemy of their partnership is a real treat. This added depth to the scientists only makes me appreciate their work all the more. Highly recommended for anyone, but especially those who have read Thinking Fast, And Slow, any book on behavioral economics, or students of how human cognition leads us astray. A fantastic book that I couldn't put down.
6 van 6 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
2.0 van 5 sterren Possibly Michael Lewis's worst book 10 april 2017
door Michael Rodriguez - Gepubliceerd op
Geverifieerde aankoop
I'm a huge Michael Lewis fan but this book was awful. It was tedious and trying to understand where he was going with the book was hopeless. For context, I'm a huge Houston Rockets fan and even I was bored to tears with the first chapter. Also, why jump from the Rockets roster to a laborious origin story of Amos and how everyone thought he was the smartest dude of all time and the life of every party? It's like Michael Lewis forgot to send this draft to an editor. What we're left with is a meandering story that often seems quite pointless.