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Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman dies

The psychologist and author Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002, has died aged 90. He became well-known to the lay public in 2011 with his best-seller “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

Daniel Kahneman, an American-Israeli psychologist whose insights into the often troubled process of human decision making won him a Nobel Prize in economics, died on Wednesday at the age of 90.

Kahneman and his longtime collaborator, Amos Tversky, did much to dispel the assumption, previously widely held in the field of economics, that people are capable of taking most decisions on a rational basis.

Princeton University, where he worked until his death, confirmed his death in a statement on its website.

“Many areas in the social sciences simply have not been the same since he arrived on the scene. He will be greatly missed,” said former colleague and professor Eldar Shafir in a press release.

The location and cause of Kahneman’s death have so far not been made public.

Contribution to behavioral economics

Kahneman and Tversky began studying decision making in 1974, with one of their first major insights into the process being the notion of “loss aversion.”

This refers to the fact that humans often have a strong desire to maintain things as they are, a factor that frequently influences the decisions they take.

This and many other discoveries in the field led to Kahneman’s Nobel win in 2022, one economists say he would have shared with Tversky had the latter not died in 1996.

Kahneman always acknowledged Tversky’s importance in the work he did.

“Amos and I shared the wonder of together owning a goose that could lay golden eggs — a joint mind that was better than our separate minds,” Kahneman wrote.

Kahneman set out much of his thought for lay audiences in the best-selling book “Thinking. Fast and Slow,” published in 2011.

In it, he explains how many deeply ingrained biases and our tendency to take mental shortcuts can cause us to make irrational decisions in all areas of life.

Source: Dw

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