Insights from Daniel Kahneman, “The World’s Most Distinguished Living Psychologist”

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Nobel Laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton UniversityDaniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize–winning professor emeritus at Princeton University and author of the book Thinking, Fast and Slow, will be speaking at the 65th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Chicago. Professor Kahneman was most recently profiled by Michael Lewis in the Vanity Fair article, “The King of Human Error.”

Michael Lewis, who spoke at the 2009 CFA Institute Annual Conference in Orlando, calls Professor Kahneman “the world’s most distinguished living psychologist,” and finds “a quality both impish and joyous to Kahneman’s work.” Professor Kahneman’s book documents a number of unique experiments — including one using rigged games of chance and perceptions of African involvement in the United Nations — exploring heuristics, biases, and the ways in which they can influence human behavior.

Professor Kahneman also adapted part of his book to write “Don’t Blink! The Hazards of Confidence,” an article for New York Times Magazine  in which he tells the story of the first time he discovered a cognitive fallacy. In the article, he also challenges the idea that fund manager returns have anything to do with skill. “For a large majority of fund managers,” Professor Kahneman writes, “the selection of stocks is more like rolling dice than like playing poker.”

Although his background is in psychology, Professor Kahneman received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on prospect theory with Amos Tversky. His work has generated a number of insights into investor psychology and provided a guide to the illogical and sometimes contradictory workings of behavioral finance. Professor Kahneman even inspired a Vanity Fair quiz about decision-making processes, “The quiz Daniel Kahneman wants you to fail.”

Professor Kahneman will be discussing psychology for behavioral finance at the 65th CFA Institute Annual Conference in Chicago on 6–9 May 2012. You can register to attend the event to hear more from Professor Kahneman in person, and follow this blog for more speaker updates as the conference draws closer.

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