From Kahneman's point of view, the most important moment of the recent economic crisis came when Alan Greenspan admitted at a congressional hearing that his theory of the world had been mistaken. "Greenspan expected financial firms to protect their interests, because they are rational companies and the market is rational, so they would not take risks that would threaten their very existence," Kahneman says.
三月分最近結束的TED大會裡，也有一場卡納曼精采的演講，叫做「The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory.」。卡納曼是以色列人，當世最重要的心理學家，以認知心理學聞名於世的他，2002年獲諾貝爾經濟學獎。在TED演講中他分析「經驗中的我」(experiencing self) 和「記憶裡的我」(remembering self)，怎麼影響人的判斷與抉擇。
We are of (at least) two minds: An Experiencing Self and a Remembering Self. In this recent TED Talk, Daniel Kahneman explores & exposes what makes the two of "us" so different. He asks: "What makes us give so much importance to our Remembering Self?" What's the role of each Self in making choices & decisions? "We don't," Kahneman asserts, "make choices based on experiences. We make choices based on our memories of our experiences." We even think about the future as anticipated memories, rather than experiences...
Mr. Kahneman recounts a story about someone who was listening to a recording of a beautiful symphony which was followed by a very loud screeching sound. The listener emotionally exclaimed that, "It ruined the whole experience!" But in reality the memory ruined the experience. The listener enjoyed 20+ minutes of music, but now all he was left with was a memory, and that memory was ruined. It in effect, colored the entire experience… or maybe even replaced it, because an individual can't hold onto an experience, only a memory of that experience.
To give you an example, consider the following: You have two people, both of whom get their quarterly returns on their stock portfolios. One of them learns his wealth has gone from $1 million to $1.2 million, and the other one learns his wealth has gone down from $4 million to $3.5 million. I can ask you two questions. I can ask you who is happier. There is no question the first one is happier than the second. Then I can ask you who is better off financially. The second one is better off…… But when people think of the outcomes of their decisions, they think much more short term than that. They think in terms of gains and losses. That was the basic insight.
幸福是什麼？卡納曼研究人類決策的制定，他現在重點研究的課題是幸福感－什麼讓我們感覺快樂或不快樂，並且開發一種衡量人們幸福感的科學方法。在研究中，他發現，雖然擁有較高收入的人們對自己的生活較滿意，但如果給定一個時刻，他們不見得比收入較低的人快樂。人們長期以來的設想－「金錢可以買來快樂」應該被重新定義，而與之對應的「財富並不重要」的設想也應該被重新定義。卡納曼更提出應當建立國民快樂帳戶（National Well-being Account）來取代傳統的GDP。
Daniel Kahneman is an eminence grise for the Freakonomics crowd. In the mid-1970s, with his collaborator Amos Tversky, he was among the first academics to pick apart exactly why we make "wrong" decisions. In their 1979 paper on prospect theory, Kahneman and Tversky examined a simple problem of economic risk. And rather than stating the optimal, rational answer, as an economist of the time might have, they quantified how most real people, consistently, make a less-rational choice. Their work treated economics not as a perfect or self-correcting machine, but as a system prey to quirks of human perception. The field of behavioral economics was born.
＊ Eminence grise is a person who exercises power or influence in certain areas without holding an official position. （Eminence grise意思是幕後功臣）
TED是Technology, Entertainment, Design（科技、娛樂、設計﹚的縮寫，希望「用思想的力量來改變世界」。它於1984年由理查溫曼和哈利馬克思共同創辦，從1990年開始每年在美國加州的蒙特利舉辦一次，在世界的其他城市，也會兩年舉辦一次。在會議中，TED邀請來自全世界有創新思考的人，相互交流。會議的演講內容廣泛，涵蓋科學、藝術、政治、全球性問題、建築、音樂等等，每個講者只講18分鐘。收看卡納曼18分鐘演講，請上www.window1001.com。