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Some of the best and most influential papers by Amos Tversky, one of the most brilliant social science thinkers of the twentieth century. Amos Tversky (1937--1996) was a towering figure in the cognitive and decision sciences. His work was ingenious, exciting, and influential, spanning topics from intuition to statistics to behavioral economics. His long and extraordinarily productive collaboration with his friend and colleague Daniel Kahneman was the subject of Michael Lewis's best-selling book, The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds. The Essential Tversky offers a selection of Tversky's best, most influential and accessible papers, "classics" chosen to capture the essence of Tversky's thought. The impact of Tversky's work is far reaching and long-lasting. In 2002, Kahneman, who drew on their joint work in his much-praised 2013 book, Thinking, Fast and Slow (and who contributes an afterword to this collection), was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for work done with Tversky. In The Undoing Project, Lewis (who contributes a foreword to this collection) describes his discovery that Tversky and Kahneman's thinking laid the foundation for Moneyball, his own ode to number-crunching. The papers collected in The Essential Tversky cover topics that include cognitive and perceptual bias, misguided beliefs, inconsistent preferences, risky choice and loss aversion decisions, and psychological common sense. Together, they offer nonspecialist readers an introduction to one of the most brilliant social science thinkers of the twentieth century.
Egon Brunswik is one of the most brilliant, creative and least understood and appreciated psychologists/philosophers of the 20th century. This book presents a collection of Brunswik's most important papers together with interpretive comments by prominent scholars who explain the intent and development of his thought. This collection and the accompanying diverse examples of the application of his ideas will encourage a deeper understanding of Brunswik in the 21st century than was the case in the 20th century. The 21st century already shows signs of acceptance of Brunswikian thought with the appearance of psychologists with a different focus; emulation of physical science is of less importance, and positive contributions toward understanding behavior outside the laboratory without abandoning rigor are claiming more notice. As a result, Brunswik's theoretical and methodological views are already gaining the attention denied them in the 20th century. The plan of this book is to provide, for the first time, in one place the articles that show the origins of his thought, with all their imaginative and creative spirit, as well as thoughtful, scholarly interpretations of the development, meaning and application of his ideas to modern psychology. Thus, his views will become more understandable and more widely disseminated, as well as advanced through the fresh meaning given to them by the psychologists of the 21st century.
Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman’s 1974 paper ‘Judgement Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases’ is a landmark in the history of psychology. Though a mere seven pages long, it has helped reshape the study of human rationality, and had a particular impact on economics – where Tversky and Kahneman’s work helped shape the entirely new sub discipline of ‘behavioral economics.’ The paper investigates human decision-making, specifically what human brains tend to do when we are forced to deal with uncertainty or complexity. Based on experiments carried out with volunteers, Tversky and Kahneman discovered that humans make predictable errors of judgement when forced to deal with ambiguous evidence or make challenging decisions. These errors stem from ‘heuristics’ and ‘biases’ – mental shortcuts and assumptions that allow us to make swift, automatic decisions, often usefully and correctly, but occasionally to our detriment. The paper’s huge influence is due in no small part to its masterful use of high-level interpretative and analytical skills – expressed in Tversky and Kahneman’s concise and clear definitions of the basic heuristics and biases they discovered. Still providing the foundations of new work in the field 40 years later, the two psychologists’ definitions are a model of how good interpretation underpins incisive critical thinking.
Current thinking and research on consciousness and the brain.
Life is fundamentally uncertain. We do not know whether it will rain, whether the market will go up or down, whether our unhealthy eating choices will have serious consequences, or whether terrorists will strike our city. To make matters worse, we also lack a tried and true procedure for evaluating the likelihood of such events. Yet we are required to make decisions great and small that depend on these events. In the absence of certainty or an objective procedure for estimating probabilities, we must rely on our own reasoning, which a great deal of research has shown to be less rational than we would like to believe. In Critical Thinking, Varda Liberman and Amos Tversky examine how we make judgments under uncertainty and explain how various biases can distort our consideration of evidence. Using everyday examples, they detail how to examine data and their implications with the goal of helping readers improve their intuitive reasoning and judgment. From the courtroom to the basketball court, cholesterol count to the existence of the supernatural, Liberman and Tversky explore the fundamental insights of probability, causal relationships, and making inferences from samples. They delve into the psychology of judgment, explaining why first impressions are often wrong and correct answers go against our intuitions. Originally written in Hebrew and published by the Open University in 1996, Critical Thinking is an essential guide for students and interested readers alike that teaches us to become more critical readers and consumers of information.

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