Thinking Fast and Slow

We have 2 modes of thinking...

Fast ThinkingSlow Thinking
Type 1/System 1Type 2/System 2

1. Fast Thinking

Few attributes of system 1...

  • Skill is System 1. Eg. driving.
  • This is driven by Pattern recognition
  • You can create better intuitions if you have fast feedback loops. This is one way to "train" system one better(but system 1 training is unreliable)
  • There can be false intuitions - that are indistinguishable from expert intuitions(this is why system 1 is unreliable).
  • We might not be aware of changes system 1 makes in our decision making process.
  • Tries to create associativity coherent interpretations of the situation.

System 1 works thru associative memory. If one or few nodes in the associative memory network get triggered, it will spread the activation to other nodes as well. Negative triggers need lesser force to active the network - because evolution wants us to be prepared.

Once this associative network has been activated, the system looks for causes.

System 1 uses our memory history to create these interpretations - and it will update our memory history. If we encounter any surprise, the brain will hand over to system 2.

If the stimulus is hard to understand, brain might switch to system 2. Eg. question in a bad font.

System 1 can return false conclusions with high confidence. This can be due to...

  • Substitution: if a conclusion requires effort - but there is an easy related conclusion available to us, we'll use the easy one. We will not be aware of it.
  • Subjunctive confidence comes from system 1. If interpretation is coherent, probability assigned will be high.
  • Many more.

AI works with this system.

Fast Thinking Exploits can be used to attack this system.

2. Slow thinking

This requires deliberate effort - and there are physiological changes in slow thinking - eg. our pupils dilate in this mode.