Daniel Kahneman, a pioneering psychologist and Nobel laureate, has died at the age of 90.

The best-selling author of Thinking Fast and Slow — now a modern classic in psychology and economics — is known for his groundbreaking work in behavioral economics, and for revolutionising our understanding of human cognition and decision-making. 

His research, often conducted in collaboration with fellow Israeli psychologist Amos Tversky, challenged conventional economic theory by demonstrating the systematic biases and irrational tendencies that influence human decision-making, affecting all aspects of our lives. 

Their work laid the foundation for the field of behavioral economics, profoundly impacting diverse disciplines such as business leadership, finance and investing, public policy, and beyond. 

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1934, Kahneman began his career studying psychology at Hebrew University before moving to the US. Throughout his life, he published and edited a number of influential works including Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and BiasesChoices, Values, and Frames; and Thinking, Fast and Slow, which cemented his status as one of the most influential thinkers of his time.

‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ was published in 2011 and has since been translated into over 40 languages.

In 2002, Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal contributions to understanding the psychological underpinnings of economic decision-making.

The Israeli-American psychologist continued to be actively involved in academia throughout his 80s, and was working with Princeton University up until his death. He passing on the 27th of March — just three weeks after his 90th birthday — was announced on the Princeton University website.

Via the statement, Professor Eldar Shafir, one of Kahneman’s colleagues, said: “Many areas in the social sciences simply have not been the same since he arrived on the scene. He will be greatly missed.”

Kahneman joined the Princeton faculty in 1993, following university appointments at Hebrew University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of California–Berkeley.

Here are 10 of the Nobel laureate’s most insightful and memorable quotes:

  • “The confidence people have in their beliefs is not a measure of the quality of evidence but of the coherence of the story the mind has managed to construct.”
  • “A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.”
  • “The idea that the future is unpredictable is undermined every day by the ease with which the past
    is explained.”
  • “The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.”
  • Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.”
  • “We can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.”
  • “Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”
  • “Success = talent + luck; great success = a little more talent + a lot of luck.”
  • “The quality of our thinking cannot be higher than the quality of the information on which it is based.”
  • “The world in our heads is not a precise replica of reality; our expectations about the frequency of events are distorted by the prevalence and emotional intensity of the messages to which we are exposed.”


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