April 19, 2024

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Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist in economics, has died

Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist in economics, has died

He passed away this Wednesday Daniel Kahnemanwinning psychologist Nobel Prize in Economics, at the age of 90 years. His work helped give rise to the field of behavioral economics.

The academic challenged established notions about rationality in decision-making, an idea that has prevailed in the field of economics for years. He was able to show the logic behind many puzzling behaviours, such as people's reluctance to dispose of stocks that had declined, or the phenomenon of preferring to travel far to a store to source a low-cost product, but not doing the same for a more expensive company.

The university professor said that Kahneman was “the most influential psychologist in the world when he was alive.” Harvard university, Steven Pinkerfor The Guardian in 2014. He asserted that “his work is truly monumental in the history of thought.”

According to Bloomberg, work with a psychologist Amos TverskyKahneman isolated the biases that distort the decision-making process. These include loss aversion and how the way a question is phrased can affect the answer. For example, the acceptance of a health program that saves 200 lives but causes 400 deaths may depend on whether its proponents highlight the lives saved or the lives lost.

The brain reacts quickly and on the basis of incomplete information, Kahneman said, often leading to unfortunate outcomes. “People are wired to tell the best story possible,” he said in a 2012 interview with the American Psychological Association. “We don’t spend a lot of time saying, ‘Well, there’s a lot we don’t know.’ We stick with what we do know.”

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Thanks to the so-called “prospect theory”, Kahneman and Tversky revolutionized psychology, and later economics. And so the field Behavioral economics They emerged in the late twentieth century as a group of young economists who used their ideas to challenge classical notions of “homo economicus,” that is, the rational agent.

In 2011, Kahneman published “Think fast, think slow” He found a wide audience committed to his ideas. The study provided a comprehensive view of the mind as containing two systems, one of which is fast and intuitive, and the other is slow and more rational. In this, he offered tips for making better decisions, such as: “Recognizing the signs that indicate that you are in a cognitive minefield.”

Kahneman was born on March 5, 1934 Tel AvivWhere his mother was visiting her relatives. The family lived in France, having immigrated there from Lithuania. His father, a Jewish chemist, was arrested for his religion during World War II and then released. After the war, the family moved to the territories that became Israel in 1948.

Kahneman received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1954. In the same year, he joined the Israel Defense Forces, where he was assigned to the Psychology Branch and was responsible for evaluating recruits. The system he developed has been used for decades, as he himself wrote in his autobiography.

He obtained his doctorate from University of California In Berkeley In 1961 he returned to the Hebrew University to teach in the Psychology Department. In 1969, he met Tversky, who became his collaborator for more than a decade in his Nobel Prize-winning work.

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He also had appointments in University of British Columbia in Vancouver And in Berkeley. In 1993 he moved to Princeton University in New JerseyHe was a professor of psychology and also taught at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Kahneman shared the 2002 Nobel Prize with Vernon Smithanother experimental economist.