Think fast: A wallet has a coin in it, the combined value of which is $1.10 and the wallet is worth one dollar more than the coin. What is the value of the coin?
Did you think the answer was $0.10?
Think slow: do the math (or check with someone good at math) and you’ll see that the correct answer is $0.05. But don’t feel bad – almost everyone makes this mistake at first!
We are of two minds, each useful for different things.
In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman explores the two thinking systems that we use to make decisions: the fast, intuitive and unconscious system one and the slow, rational, consciously controlled system two. The first excels at quick actions, like reacting to car horns in traffic, whereas the second is used for complex reasoning tasks like math problems.
The greatness of these two systems is hinged upon how we apply them. Our challenge is to use the right system in the right places and with the right people!