Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, professor of psychology and public affairs, emeritus, and a Nobel laureate in economics whose groundbreaking behavioral science research changed our understanding of how people think and decide, died on March 27. He was 90.

12 thoughts on “Daniel Kahneman

  1. Amanda

    Dear Professor Kahneman,

    I am devastated to hear that you have passed. I’ve read all of your work and it not only changed the way I viewed the world, but also inspired everything I was a part of afterwards.

    When I left home, I carried many of your books with me because I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving home without it.

    Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow helped me decide that I wanted to get into the work of behavioral science and behavioral economics.

    I hope everyone gets the pleasure of reading your work and absorbing your wisdom and insight.

    I am devastated that you have passed. I hope you may rest in peace. Thank you for not only shaping the world, but help mold it to become the best it could be. There would be a lost less light in the world if you and your partners didn’t engage in the research you have. Your work will transcend the test of time and will benefit generations. I hope that they learn the names of your and your partners and feel how much you cared by investing in work that greatly benefited all of all lives.

    If I have children, I’ll be sure to give them your work and tell them how it was you and your partners that I learned from.

    With my most heartfelt appreciation,

  2. Henry Ortiz

    It’s hard to imagine how much death and suffering has stemmed from bad decisions, and how much ignorance of human fallibility has enabled bad decisions. Since Kahneman revealed so much about our fallibility, the value of his work is almost immeasurable.

  3. Siva Murthy

    Dr Daniel Kahneman was a rare researcher who made us realize insights on our own behavior through simple experiments. He measured things differently by asking if he has the right “tape measure”. His collaboration with Amos and singular focus to encourage young graduate students and postdocs is worth emulating. At his passing, one is compelled to ask, over 90 years, did he accomplish his “life satisfaction” as well as did he experience “happiness”. I think the emphatic answer has to be yes. Princeton has an opportunity to build on his legacy just like many pioneering researchers from the past. May his Soul rest in peace.

  4. Ruchira Kitsiri

    I just finished reading ‘Escape From System 1 – Unlocking the Science Behind the New Way of Innovation’ by Andreas Raharso, in which the author Raharso makes references to Daniel Kahneman’s work, particularly to ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’, which in turn made me interested in delving in to Kahneman’s work. I am not sure if the internet has a mind of its own, today morning when I was about to search a topic entirely unrelated, this news of the death of Kahneman came up as an auto suggestion on my Google, apparently from nowhere! I have always been intrigued by how the mind works, particularly the Buddhist perspective of mind having two main components – a conscious mind and a subconscious one. An explanation that seems to broadly corroborate the existence of two systems that dominates two types of thinking – fast and slow. Whether the brain is the originator or the mediator of mind. What implications the understanding of mind could potentially have on our lives on the planet? While wishing his soul find peace, I look forward to reading Kahneman’s work pretty soon.

  5. Zahid Hussain

    Dear Daniel Kahneman,

    You changed my world view of how people decide. Your slow thinking on how people think often made me wonder which part — the emotional and intuitive or the slow and reflective — is dominant in your brain. Are these preordained or can we choose to reshape them as we please? Alas, I never got an opportunity to ask.

    Your work has changed economics for better forever. Rest in peace dear global intellectual giant.

  6. Pete Van Jr

    Dear Princeton University family,

    It is with a heavy heart that I write to express my deepest condolences on the loss of Daniel Kahneman, a true pioneer in the field of behavioral psychology and a Nobel laureate. His passing leaves a void that will be felt not only within the academic community but across the world.

    Daniel Kahneman’s contributions to the field of psychology have been nothing short of extraordinary. His groundbreaking research on cognitive biases and heuristics revolutionized our understanding of human decision-making processes. His work challenged traditional economic theories and shed light on the complex interplay between psychology and economics.

    As a Nobel laureate, Daniel Kahneman’s achievements were recognized and celebrated on a global scale. His insights have had a profound impact on various disciplines, from economics and finance to public policy and beyond. His influence will continue to shape the way we understand and analyze human behavior for years to come.

    Not only was Daniel Kahneman an intellectual giant, but he was also a beloved figure within the academic community. His generosity, mentorship, and willingness to share his knowledge have inspired countless students and scholars. His dedication to the pursuit of knowledge and the advancement of his field is a testament to his unwavering passion.

    While we mourn the loss of this remarkable individual, let us also celebrate the legacy he leaves behind. Daniel Kahneman’s work will continue to inspire future generations of researchers and thinkers, guiding them towards new discoveries and a deeper understanding of the human mind.

    On behalf of [Your Name], I extend my deepest sympathies to the Princeton University community, his colleagues, and his loved ones. May his memory be a source of inspiration and may his contributions continue to shape the world of psychology for years to come.


    Pete Van, Jr.

  7. Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

    Prof. Daniel Kahaneman was a genius. I met him and Prof. Amos Tversky when I was an undergraduate and Masters student at HUJI, 1970-1976. In 1972 I taught his son, I met his first wife via Prof. Louis Guttman’s Research Institute and few times, I met Daniel in the US. He was the kindest and brightest of all academics I met. We both earned PhDs at UC, Berkeley. His collaborator, Prof. Amos Tversky facilitated my use of his software, ADDTREE before it was published in 1977 in my Master’s Thesis at HUJI. I shared the results obtained with both of them, and with Prof. Louis Guttman, all in the Psychology department in 1976 when the thesis was completed. I shared it with Prof. James March at Stanford University GSB in 1980/81. At that time, I was a PhD student at Berkeley and on an annual Exchange Program at Stanford, GSB. Prof. March and myself discussed the influence of Kahaneman and Tversky work on decision making under uncertainty. How it influenced the topic of my Masters thesis on Preference in Decision Making and how I used it in my PhD Dissertation in Industrial Economics.
    Most fond memories I have of Amos and of Daniel on
    the vast impact both had on graduate students to become scientists with the highest scholarly attitudes and practice.

    Without Daniel, without Amos, the World has been diminished.

    No more sorrow in the Kahaneman Family.

  8. Zakaria Nishtar

    Dear Professor Kahneman,

    I finished reading your book Thinking, Fast and Slow on the 27th of March, the same day you passed. Three days later, my phone remarkably brought me the sad news of your passing. While I will never get the chance to meet you and ask the many thoughts and questions your work inspires, I am grateful for coming across your contributions. The mind, behaviour, and decision-making are fascinating subjects and your book has opened the doors of my curiosity. I look forward to exploring the field further and owe it to you for helping me along my intellectual journey.
    I hope the best for your family, friends, colleagues, and associates at this time. The Princeton Community honors and misses you.

    Zakaria Nishtar

  9. Darren Joe

    In spring of 2002, my senior thesis advisor recommended I meet with Prof. Kahneman (my thesis was “Racial Profiling Before and After 9/11).” I arrived 10-15 minutes late from tennis practice for this 1-1 meeting. I remember Prof. Kahneman’s kind smile and piercing gaze while he patiently answered my questions for 45 minutes. I had no idea what a towering and influential figure he was — and looking back, I think he enjoyed that. Many here remember him for his work, but I will always remember Prof. Kahneman for his humility, kindness, and willingness to help one undergraduate with his senior thesis.

  10. Ronald A Nielsen

    I came to the party late. Nonetheless, reading Thinking Fast and Slow changed the way I think. The world is a better place for the contribution that “Danny” and “Amos” made. We’ll miss them.

  11. Fred Vars

    Daniel Kahneman was a wonderful teacher, mentor, and human being. Even after taking his class on decision-making, I didn’t fully appreciate the magnitude of his contributions to the field (mostly with Amos Tversky). “Danny,” as he insisted on being called, assigned few of his own articles and didn’t mention that the articles we did read were mostly extensions of his own groundbreaking work. But he couldn’t conceal his brilliance in class—he seemed to know everything and communicated it all with clarity and enthusiasm (and entirely without notes). He was my senior thesis advisor the next year. That experience changed the direction of my life, giving me the confidence to become a professor myself. Just last year (20 years later) I emailed Danny with a few updates about my life. He responded the same day, starting with “of course I remember you!” I will miss Danny dearly.

  12. Andrew M O'Hearn

    People sometimes ask me that classic icebreaking question, “What person, living or past, do (did) you most want to have a conversation with?” As a longtime voracious reader of behavioral economics, as well as someone who has worked, run, shopped, and dined in Princeton many times (I had already met “A Beautiful Mind” inspiration John Nash and also Freeman Dyson), I almost always responded, “Professor Daniel Kahneman.” Of the 650+ books I’ve read over the past six years, he is, by far and away, *the* most cited source. I do hope to at least attend whatever tribute the Kahneman-Treisman Center and Princeton offer. We will never see another like him. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have been in the same room with him and Amos Tversky, while both were still alive.

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