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  • Writer's pictureHerve Blanc

Our cognitive biases

Updated: Mar 11


Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman

Thinking Fast and Slow is a book by Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, that explores the two systems that drive the way we think.

  • System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional;

  • System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.

Kahneman argues that we rely on System 1 for most of our thinking, and that System 2 is only called upon when we need to make complex decisions or solve difficult problems. However, System 1 is often biased and can lead us to make errors.


The book is divided into two parts. The first part, "The Two Systems," discusses the different characteristics of System 1 and System 2. The second part, "Judgment and Decision-Making," explores how these two systems interact and how they can lead to errors.


Kahneman also discusses a number of cognitive biases, such as anchoring, availability, and representativeness, that can lead us to make poor decisions. He also provides some practical advice on how to avoid these biases.


Thinking Fast and Slow is a fascinating book that provides a deep understanding of how our minds work. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to make better decisions and avoid making errors.


Here are some of the key takeaways from the book:

  • We have two systems of thinking: System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.

  • System 1 is often biased and can lead us to make errors.

  • We need to be aware of our cognitive biases in order to make better decisions.

There are a number of techniques that we can use to avoid making errors, it is worth investing time knowing about our biases so we can have a chance to counter them.


Because as data scientist, you should combat creating bias in your models, this is a must read book. Biases will be inherited from data created by real people, thus it is paramount to understand how our mind works and what biases people might be responsible for.

Also the book is a great encouragement to double thinking when you see new data for the 1st time and not jump to conclusion too fast, but make sure your slower part of the brain gets involved.


Please don't hesitate to reach out to Hervé @ biZNov if you have questions or just to let me know if there other subjects you’d like to be treated on this blog.


And don't forget to spread the information if you enjoyed this blog post, just click on the social network buttons below. Sharing is caring :-)


PS: this summary has been partially generated with Google Bard's help, which has done a much better job synthesizing the book than ChatGPT, IMHO, having used a similar prompt.

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