Daniel Kahneman

Novel Laureate, Distinguished Psychologist & Founder of Behavioural Economics

Daniel Kahneman is a distinguished psychologist and founder of behavioural economics. An expert in decision making and the unreliable mind, his ground-breaking work lies behind the huge success of pop psychology books like Freakonomics.

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About Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman is both fascinating and amusing - his audiences hang on his every word.

Awards, accolades, achievements, honours

  • In both 2011 and 2012, he made the Bloomberg 50 most influential people in global finance.
  • 2012 he was accepted as corresponding academician at the Real Academia Espaola (Economic and Financial Sciences).
  • 2011  Named a top global thinker by Foreign Policy magazine.
  • 2011 Thinking, Fast and Slow was the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Current Interest.
  • 2011, he was awarded the Talcott Parsons Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • 2009  Honorary doctorate from the department of Economics at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
  • 2007 American Psychological Association Lifetime Contribution Award.
  • 2005 Voted the 101st-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet.
  • 2003 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology with Amos Tversky.
  • 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in Prospect theory.
  • 1995 The Warren Medal of the Society of Experimental Psychologists.
  • 1995   The Hilgard Award for Career Contributions to General Psychology.
  • 1982 The Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award - The American Psychological Association

Background / History

The son of Lithuanian Jews, Daniel Kahneman was born in 1934 and grew up in France. All went smoothly until the Nazi occupation when his father was captured. Somehow he avoided being sent to the concentration camps and the family began an uncertain life on the run. His father died from diabetes just before the end of the war and his mother took the family to live in Israel - then Palestine. Kahneman received his BSc. with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1954.  In 1955 he was drafted into the Israeli army and continued as a military psychologist.  In 1958, he left for California to study for a PhD in Psychology at Berkley. He is currently professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University. He is a founding partner of cutting edge consulting company The Greatest Good. He lives in New York with his British born wife Anne Treisman.


Daniel Kahneman is among the most influential psychologists in history. He began his academic career studying visual perception at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem but went on to focus on judgment and decision-making when he started collaborating with Amos Tversky. Together they created the field of behavioural economics by picking apart the unreliable mind, noticing how it can trick us into thinking we are making rational decisions on the basis of expertise, even when evidence shows to the contrary. They published a series of seminal articles culminating in their prospect theory in 1979 for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 sadly Tversky died before he could receive the award.

Many of Kahnemans books and articles are classics of modern thinking and in 2011 his new book, Thinking, Fast and Slow was seen as a major publishing event. Written with a general audience in mind, this memoir of his life's work was an instant New York Times best seller. It examines the way the mind works and makes a distinction between the "experiencing self" and the "remembering self" both of which perceive things differently.

Kahnemans pioneered a new approach leaving the graphs and tables behind in favour of posing snappy questions like; why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch And why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent an approach which has been much referenced in books like Levitt and Dubners Freakonomics and Malcom Gladwells Blink.

Kahneman is currently a senior scholar and faculty member at Princeton University's Department of Psychology.  He is also a fellow at Hebrew University and a Gallup Senior Scientist. He is a member of many esteemed academic bodies including the National Academy of Science and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association. He holds honorary degrees from numerous Universities.

Current / Past Roles & Positions

  • Widely regarded as the most important psychologist alive today.
  • Winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for economics, despite not being an economist.
  • His work has reshaped social psychology, cognitive science, the study of reason and of happiness, and behavioural economics Steven Pinker

Speaking Topics

  • Decision-making under uncertainty
  • The Psychology of happiness
  • Behavioural economics


Testimonial for Thinking, Fast and Slow: "This is a landmark book in social thought, in the same league as The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith and The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Author Of The Black Swan

Testimonial for Thinking, Fast and Slow: "Daniel Kahneman is among the most influential psychologists in history and certainly the most important psychologist alive today...The appearance of Thinking, Fast and Slow is a major event" - Steven Pinker, Author of the Language Instinct

Testimonial for Thinking, Fast and Slow: "This book is a tour de force by an intellectual giant; it is readable, wise, and deep. Buy it fast. Read it slowly and repeatedly. It will change the way you think, on the job, about the world, and in your own life" - Richard Thaler, Co-Author of Nudge

Books By Daniel Kahneman

  • Pupil diameter and load on memory with J Beatty (1966)
  • On the psychology of prediction Psychological Review with A Tversky (1973)
  • Prospect theory: An analysis of decisions under risk with A Tversky (1979)
  • Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases with P Slovic & A Tversky (1982)
  • Choices, Values, and Frames with A Tversky (2000)
  • Maps of bounded rationality: A perspective on intuitive judgment and choice (2003)
  • Thinking Fast and Slow (2011)

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