Read: September 2021

Inspiration: Wanted to read more Michael Lewis books and heard this was about one of the authors of Thinking, Fast and Slow


Written with the help of ChatGPT, below is a brief summary to understand what is covered in the book.

“The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds”, published in 2016 by author Michael Lewis, tells the story of the collaboration between psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, whose work on decision-making and behavioral economics has had a major impact on the field of psychology and beyond. The book covers the early careers of Kahneman and Tversky, their pioneering work on biases and heuristics, and the influence of their ideas on a wide range of fields including economics, finance, and politics. Lewis also explores the personal relationship between the two men and the way that their partnership influenced their work. The book offers a fascinating and engaging look at the world of behavioral economics and the impact of Kahneman and Tversky’s groundbreaking research.

Unedited Notes

Direct from my original book log, below are my unedited notes (abbreviations and misspellings included) to show how I take notes as I read.

Daryl Morey understand strengths and weakness of a model vs human gut/intuition (leverage both together, shouldn’t be entirely one or the other), Morey dig for more indicative stats in basketball previously ignored to predict performance, behaviorism BF Skinner post ww2 about rewards, gestalt psychologist focus on shape and form of thoughts/perceptions in unique contexts (how does brain create meaning), don’t be reactive and tear down but first make sense of things, hypothesized relationship b/w pupil expansion and contraction and liking/disliking preferences even if cannot articulate, education is knowing what to do when you don’t know, bayes rule is about adjusting based on new info (e.g. blindly draw chip in bag with 75/25 red and white or vice versa—1 red 3:1 red majority, 2 red 9:1 etc (one white then back to 3:1), kahneman and tversky: people quick to assume law of large numbers applies to small numbers (not the case), representativeness is about how close something looks to a model in head (model misleads), randomness not have to look random (i.e. bbbggg vs bggbgb), availability—mind recalculates odds based on a memorable experience, people think punishment worse bc forget regression to mean (after do poorly, likely to be better regardless of whether punished or not), he who sees past as surprise free bound to have future full of surprises, just b/c got better after treatment not mean better b/c of treatment, regret and minimizing regret are key factors in many decision that look non-rational, control felt amplifies regret, risk seeking in losses and averse in gains, take more risks when faced with prospect of loss, people choose between the description of things mot things themselves (“framing”), artificial intelligence vs natural stupidity, counterfactual emotion: think of alternate realities to avoid pain (or feel more regret), time heals wounds bc as time pass, more consequences build so harder to imagine undoing, shadow theory: context of alternatives/set of alts determine expectations and emotions of reality, metaphors replace genuine uncertainty with semantic ambiguity (cover up)

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