NOBEL Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has died at the age of 90.

The pioneer researcher became famous for his groundbreaking theory on the human mind – described in the best-selling book “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman died aged 90

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Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman died aged 90Credit: AP
Former US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Kahneman in 2013

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Former US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Kahneman in 2013Credit: AFP

The theory argues that humans do not make rational decisions based on self-interest but they often act on instinct.

Alongside his longtime collaborator, Amos Tversky, Kahneman reshaped the field of economics, which mostly assumed that people were “rational actors.”

The pair’s research focused on how much decision-making is shaped by quirks and mental shortcuts that can distort our thoughts in irrational yet predictable ways.

The psychologist’s death was confirmed by Princeton University where the Israeli-American academic worked since 1993.

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Former colleague and professor Eldar Shafir said: “Danny was a giant in the field, a Princeton star, a brilliant man, and a great colleague and friend.

“Many areas in the social sciences simply have not been the same since he arrived on the scene. He will be greatly missed.”

Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in recognition of his research in the fields of psychology and economics in 2002.

Kahneman was born in Tel Aviv and spent part of his childhood in Nazi-occupied France.

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He served in the Israeli National Service in the 1950s, where he also observed a test to identify future leadership potential.

The test failed to produce candidates as the group’s performance was different than the one at the officer training school.

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Kahneman later wrote: “It was the first cognitive illusion I discovered.”

He graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1954 and then started a doctorate in psychology at the University of California Berkeley.

He returned to Jerusalem in 1961, where he met Amos Tversky – a psychologist with whom he would share the Nobel Prize later.

His partner Barbara Tversky, the widow of Amos Tversky confirmed his death to The Associated Press.

Economists say Tversky would certainly have shared the prize had he not died in 1996. The Nobel is not awarded posthumously.

Kahneman described working with Tversky as a “magical experience” in his Nobel autobiography.

He wrote: “Amos was often described by people who knew him as the smartest person they knew.

“He was also very funny … and the result was that we could spend hours of solid work in continuous mirth.

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“Amos and I shared the wonder of together owning a goose that could lay golden eggs – a joint mind that was better than our separate minds.”

Kahneman received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from US President Barack Obama in 2013.

Daniel Kahneman was the author of the best selling ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’

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Daniel Kahneman was the author of the best selling ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’Credit: Alamy

Source: Sun

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