System 1 and System 2

Published by Lex on

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is a massively influential book that explains the different modes of human decision making.

It explains two basic modes of human decision making. System 1 and system 2. System 1 decisions are almost instinctual and made quickly because there is imminent threat.

Business information systems are a little bit like this…There are the business systems that are like instinct. Quick. Automatic, not thinking.

System 2 decisions tend to be more deliberate and thought out and analytical.

This is a vast oversimplification of the ideas in the book

And then there are systems that are more analytical in their nature. The information that comes together from all the small transactions that add up into something bigger with longer term consequences.

But the really funny thing about organizations is that they are made up of individuals using this two systems in their own life to suit their own best interest at the moment. People are operating inside system 1 and system 2, and they are not even aware that they are doing it. This goes up, down and across organizations. It even spreads within whole societies with everyone in a different plane of thought at the same time.

And yet people wonder why it is so hard to make rational decisions…


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