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Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman

“When you analyze happiness it turns out that the way you spend your time is extremely important”- Daniel Khaneman.

Daniel Khaneman is an Israeli-American psychologist who is well known for his ground-breaking works on decision making, behavioral economics, hedonic psychology and judgment of psychology. He was born on March 5th 1934 in TelAviv, Israel. He spent the early years of his life in Paris, France where he was brought up and raised by his immigrant parents. He acquired his PhD in psychology from University of California, Berkeley and previously did his B. Sc in Psychology from University of Hebrew, Israel.

He started his academic career as a lecturer in Psychology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His first publication was “Pupil Diameter and Load on Memory” in a renowned Journal “Science”. It focused upon attention and visual perceptions. He also served as a visiting scientist at the University of Michigan as well as at the Applied Psychology Research Unit in Cambridge. He developed a cognitive basis for common human errors which is based upon heuristics and biases. He also proposed prospect theory which concentrates on real-world judgments of people in taking decisions and suggests that people choose alternatives when the outcomes of the alternatives they choose are known and use heuristics when making their decisions. The prospect theory earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. His theories presented on judgment and decision making is proposed in collaboration with Amos Tversky. Both of them published a series of articles representing their works in the general field of judgment and decision making. “Belief in the law of small numbers” was their first joint paper which got published in 1971. “Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases”, their second paper was also published in “Science” magazine, This paper introduced the concept and idea of anchoring which is the inclination of humans to rely to a great extent on the first information they receive regarding their decision-making. He observed that the phenomenon of anchoring takes place when people use the first available information without any further investigation to make judgments for their decisions.

Daniel Khaneman was bestowed with the Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences. He was also honored with the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology by the University of Louisvelle in 2003. He also received the honor of being the 101th Israeli of all times by a public poll conducted in Israel by a news channel YNET. Currently, he is serving as a professor emeritus of public affairs and psychology at Princeton’s University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He serves as a member of National Academy of sciences and many other prestigious institutions including the likes of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Philosophical Society, The American Psychological Society, The Econometric Society and The Society of Experimental Psychologists. He also possesses entrepreneurial skills as he is also a co-founder of a philanthropy and business consulting company known as The Greatest Good. One of his greatest accolades includes Lifetime Contribution Award for the American Psychological Association.

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