Book Recommendation of The Week: Thinking Fast And Slow

If you ever wondered why our traditional performance management, reward systems or change management fail to produce the results we desire – this book gives us the science behind why.

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Although not explicitly an HR book, Thinking Fast And Slow gives you a thorough explanation of modern psychology. The classic explains much of the research done by Daniel Kahneman and relates it to many of the well-known psychological theories and biases.

The book explains that there are two systems of thinking. Fast, automatic thinking (system 1) and slow, logical thinking (system 2). These systems compete. System 1 is our intuitive, fast response, whereas system 2 is our logical, more deliberative reaction. Whenever we run into a new situation – or are asked a question – these systems come up with answers that often differ from each other.

The book shows how knowing these systems can fool you – or be useful to you. Biases like anchoring, availability bias, loss aversion, framing, and the sunk cost fallacy are all explained using these two systems. Learning about these biases helps you make better decisions and convince others.

As an example in an HR context, we can see fundamental biases at work in the process of allocating “performance bonuses”: “…There is a tremendously powerful illusion that sustains managers in their belief their results, when good, are the result of skill; The fact remains that “performance bonuses” are awarded for luck, not skill.

Source: Digital HR tech

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