About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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December 3, 2003

Emotions, Cognition and Perception with Daniel Kahneman

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Posted by Zack Lynch

In forecasting happiness I overviewed some of Daniel Kahneman's research into affective forecasting. This month's Strategy+Business has a nice interview with him sharing more of his thoughts.

Here are some highlights, with all the credit going to MIT interviewer Michael Schrage and to HBS student Matt Mahoney: (I highly recommend reading the whole article, free subscription).

-You can always find an evolutionary quotation for anything. But the question is whether it’s functional, which is not the same as being evolutionary. There might be some environment in which it’s dysfunctional, but mainly it’s inevitable.

-They’re not trying to learn from their own mistakes; they’re not investing the smallest amount in trying to actually figure out what they’ve done wrong. And that’s not an accident: They don’t want to know.

-But, you know, there’s also the issue of perception, which links to intuition. Perception evolved differently than either intuition or cognition evolved.

Matt's final comment is great, "This hits on so many themes from my cognitive science days at UCLA, plus, more crucially, every single class I'm taking (finance, reporting & control, lead, technology operations mgmt.)

His question for me is: "If emotions get in the way (b/c it overweights), how can we use emotion as a tool to build intuition? to blend intuition and reasoning?" Matt, here is one idea (see Finance with Feelings).

As far as it's implications for marketing (see Neuromarketing to Your Mind).

Comments (1) | Category: Neuromarketing


1. Douglas Galbi on December 6, 2003 11:23 AM writes...

Perception evolved differently than either intuition or cognition evolved.

That's not my read of the cutting edge of the cognitive science literature. See Section I of "Sense in Communication," at and references therein. Is Kahneman's view on this issue just intellectual inertia, or is there some important recent work supporting that view?

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