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  • Writer's pictureSamara Kitchener

Farewell Daniel Kahneman

On hearing of Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman’s death we have been reflecting on how much his work impacts our practices every day at House of Kitch. We think of Kahneman as one of our founding fathers; his System 1 System 2 thinking is the basis of our evidence-based approach.

In Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, he examines how our brain processes information and makes decisions. Behaviour is influenced by an interaction between System 1 (Automatic/ Intuition) and System 2 (Reflective/ Rational). To effect long term behaviour change you have to impact on System 1 thinking, as this is the home of automatic, entrenched, habitual behaviour patterns. To do this, you need make an impact on the System 2 mind, as this is the home of deliberate thinking – where the initial decision to make a change in behaviour is made.

In practice, we use the following 5 Thinking Fast Communication Techniques to drive change in almost everything we do:

  1. Speak to the gut (limbic system), not the brain

  2. Use storytelling and drive emotional connection

  3. Use simple symbols, visual and compelling effects to speak to the subconscious mind

  4. Make change attractive through reward – real or symbolic

  5. Socialise and normalise the change

I loved this podcast – recorded only last year. The key take-out was don’t get a Nobel prize too early in your career – it can be a distraction:

“A Nobel prize can make you self-conscious that everything that you have to do has to be important. There are many different ways I think in which getting a Nobel early is a bad idea. I was at a good age (68) to get it because I had some years left in my career and it made many things much easier having a Nobel, and it made the end of my career more productive and happier than it would have been otherwise.”

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