Daniel Kahneman was born on March 5th, 1934 in Tel Aviv, British Mandate of Palestine known today as Israel, while his mother was visiting family in the region. He spent his youth in Paris, France where his mother and father had immigrated to in the 1920’s from Lithuania. His reason of motivations for his métier remains in contrast between being exposed to the gossip, or his interest in gossip itself.
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During his adolescence he traveled to Palestine where he continued secondary school.
At the age of seventeen he had come to the conclusion to serve in the military, where he enlisted in a unit that would allow him to postpone his active-duty status upon completion of his first degree which was with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics. During the summer recess he attended officer training school, and it was at this time that he decided that he would become a psychologist. In his first year of study he had experienced the work of social psychologist Kurt Lewin. He was deeply influenced by Lewin’s work involving motivation.
Another fascination developed when he encountered neuropsychology via his teacher Yeshayahu Leibowitz. His fascination with neuropsychology tempted him to reconsider his studies and track a path through medical studies. However he stayed on his path to become a psychologist after being informed by a neighbor who was chief neurosurgeon at Hadassah Hospital, that studies in the medical field are quite difficult and shouldn’t be pursued unless the goal was simply to practice.
Upon completion of his degree he was drafted as a second lieutenant where he spent a year as a platoon leader and then was transferred to the Psychology branch of the Israeli defence force. During his that time he was tasked with assessing officer candidates, in which he coined the term “the illusion of validity” due to the discrepancies between the statistics received on the candidates after the candidates that were assessed and the actual results from the experience of finding the true character of an individual when confronted with a difficult task.
In 1956 Daniel Kahneman was discharged from the military and given the opportunity to obtain a Ph.D. abroad so that he would be able to instruct within the psychology department. In 1958 he arrived at San Francisco Airport, California with his wife Irah where he was taken to Berkeley, California to begin his graduate career. During his years attending grad school he spent a brief period of time traveling and conversing with other doctors and researchers in the field of psychology. In conclusion to these years, in 1961 he wrote his dissertation on “ the relations between adjectives in the semantic differential” and carried on to go teach psychology at the Hebrew University.
Becoming the professional
During his instructions he began to lay the base work for research on judgement under uncertainty. He was teaching statistics and research at the university when he began also teaching students to overcome inaccurate intuitions, which contributed to the aforementioned research. While he was instructing he decided that he needed to build upon his research skills and so developed a laboratory in order to test energy integration on vision acuity. Also at this time he developed research on the motivation of children.
By 1971 he was performing research with Amos Tversky at Oregon research institute on the psychology of prediction and the anchoring of overconfidence. Here he redeveloped his book Attention and Effort which was published that year.
Tversky and Kahneman published an article in Science magazine on the widespread presence of methodical biases in instinctive assessments and predictions. Also in 1972 their article on judgment was produced in Science magazine, by 1975 Tversky and Oregon had drafted a theory named the ‘Value Theory” and presented the theory at a conference that year.
After several years of making the theory more polished they submitted it for publishing. They also developed “Prospect Theory” and also published the paper Econometrica which was publishing in Psychological Review. In 1982 he attended a Cognitive Science Society conference in Rochester where he conversed with Eric Wanner also Vice-President of the Sloan Foundation. Wanner was interested in bringing together Psychology and Economics and laid the foundations for his work leading to becoming a Nobel Laureate.
Some of Daniel Kahneman’s works include:
Be sure to watch Kahneman’s TED Talk:
"Woodrow Wilson School - Daniel Kahneman." Princeton University. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
"Daniel Kahneman - Facts." Daniel Kahneman - Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
"The Grawemeyer Awards." 2003. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Daniel Kahneman (Israeli-born Psychologist)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
C., Graeme. Biography of Daniel Kahneman. N.p.: Hyperlink, 2012. Print.