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Intuition and Rationality: Conversation with Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate in Economics (2002), Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Princeton University; February 7, 2007, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our distinguished guest today is Daniel Kahneman, who is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology at Princeton University and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2002 he received the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work with Amos Tversky on human judgment and decision making. A former professor of psychology, he is the Hitchcock Lecturer at UC Berkeley in the spring of 2007.

  1. Background ... Jewish European upbringing ... influence of mother ... the SS agent ... discovering complexity ... moving to Israel ... army researcher ... a successful interview methodology
  2. Being a Psychologist ... observing people ... small but interesting questions ... humanity ... psychology of the single question
  3. Collaborating with Amos Tversky ... a perfect partnership ... better than the sum of their parts ... six hours a day ... exceeding the boundaries of discipline ... catching the attention of economists ... the birth of behavioral economics ... matching skill sets with Tversky
  4. Intuitive Thinking ... judgment under uncertainty ... shortcuts (heuristics) ... substitution ... illusion ... intuition vs. rationality ... mistakes ... "System One" ... the powerful role of emotion ... understanding risk as a factor in decision-making ... the difficulty of changing one's behavior
  5. Successes and Failures of Intuition ... successful professional intuitions ... learning from simulations ... difficulty of imposing limits on decision-making ... Cuban Missile Crisis ... the structural advantage of hawkish decisions ... resistance to cutting one's losses
  6. Conclusions ... complexity ... avoiding the traps of research ... take what the terrain gives ... measuring experience
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