“I just knew you had a bad day.” That’s intuitive ability

I just have started my slow adventure with Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” book. Basically, the book explains how the brain works in which it has two systems; System 1 and System 2.

Quick summary, here it goes.

System 1: Operates voluntarily and quickly. Relates to quick decision, impression, and anything that usually consumes little if no effort.

System 2: Relates to effortful mental activities eg.: complex computation, deep thinking.

I just finished the 15-page introduction and is about 2,3 pages into the first part of the book which makes it not even 2% of the total information comprised in this factual-pack compilation of Kahneman’s works. I just want to pick two most interesting things:

Simplifying heuristic and availability heuristic.

Simplifying heuristic is a situation where we imply resemblance and ignore facts in making decision. One simple example. Someone mentions the word “the traitor of the nation”. And the first thing or the first group of people that come across your mind is the Opposition since these are the things that our mainstream media perpetuate everyday when in fact, government servants who take bribery and mismanage country’s wealth are also considered the nation’s traitors. Your mind has indirectly poisoned to resemble ‘traitor’ to ‘the Opposition’, without actually broadening your scope and include statistical considerations.

Availability heuristic. Let’s say you are a member of Parliament. General election is just around the corner and you have suddenly received an amount of money to be distributed among the needy of your place. You start to categorize these group of people into a few categories by the ease with which come to mind; family gross income, number of kids, et al. Any simple, first-strike categories that you can think of. This is called the reliance on the ease of memory.

The end. Not.

There is also one thing called intuitive abilities. You know, things like when you mom called you out of blue and asked “where are you now? Are you somewhere out of your campus?” at the moment you just arrived at a beach with your boyfriend. Or something like, when your mum knows you had a bad day at the first instance she hears your voice on the phone. Or a lecturer comes to an 8am-lecture preparing a quiz beforehand because he has the feeling that students will be mostly absent since it the first day after a long break. AND it is an early morning class.


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