The Undoing Project
A Friendship That Changed our Minds
Opinion in short…
One of the most important books I’ve read in a looong time! Here’s why…
If you’re interested in psychology, this book is for you. It summarises the lives and work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky – two Israeli psychologists who changed the way we think about human decision-making.
Made me think a lot about how biased we can be in our decisions about troubled children and families. And about how we need to be very careful and reflective about the judgments we make that effect people’s lives.
- Unpacks a complex subject – decision-making, judgments, biases, etc. – in a very palatable and accessible way.
- Interesting to see how two completely different people with opposing characteristics, can hit it off and change the world!
- Gives a great summary of how Kahneman and Tversky’s thinking developed and the opposition they faced (and faced down!).
- Is a very provocative read. It left me thinking hard about the way we quickly jump to conclusions which are, often, irrational. Objectivity is a struggle to be grappled with and something that doesn’t come easily – but can be achieved with effort.
- I’ve always been committed to learning and reflecting on what I do. But this book sent me back to the drawing board, asking myself whether I’m too quick to make assessments and judgments, and whether I rely too much on my own perceived expertise…
- Raises the idea of heuristics – those rules of thumb by which we all-too-easily make decisions – and provokes thought about the assumptions we make about the meaning and implications of things we see in the service users we work with.
- It’s a sobering read, but in a really good way. We are all biased and the sooner we admit and face up to this, the quicker we’ll become the objective, fair and rational professionals we need to be…
- The first few chapters – all the stuff about the NBA and the use of statistics in sport – is unnecessary and, to my mind, very boring. I didn’t need it and it didn’t add anything to the story of Kahneman and Tversky. I read this book twice over to get the juice out of it, but just skipped over these chapters second time around – the book was better for it!
- Spends a little too much time on the life stories of both men. Whilst some of this is interesting and sets the scene for what comes later in their working relationship, it could have been shorter. This would have allowed more time for the fascinating psychological stuff that follows.
Having said all that, this is one of the most important books I’ve read in a good while. I’ve just finished the second reading and really need to go through it again – it’s so rich with ideas and things to think about…
Get it here…
Or check out the audiobook (like I did!) – learn more here.
Also available in paperback, here.
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