Amos Tversky

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Amos Nathan Tversky (March 16, 1937 – June 2, 1996) was an Israeli cognitive and mathematical psychologist and a key figure in the discovery of systematic human cognitive bias and handling of risk.

Quotes[edit]

  • People predict by making up stories.
    People predict very little and explain everything.
    People live under uncertainty whether they like it or not.
    People believe they can tell the future if they work hard enough.
    People accept any explanation as long as it fits the facts.
    The handwriting was on the wall. It was just the ink that was invisible.
    People often work hard to obtain information they already have and avoid new knowledge.
    Man is a deterministic device thrown into a probabilistic Universe. In this match, surprises are expected.
    Everything that has already happened must have been inevitable.
    A part of good science is to see what everyone else can see but think what no one else has ever said.
    The difference between being very smart and very foolish is often very small.
    So many problems occur when people fail to be obedient when they are supposed to be obedient, and fail to be creative when they are supposed to be creative
    The secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.
    It is sometimes easier to make the world a better place than to prove you have made the world a better place.
    • Notes made by Tversky for a scientific paper, c.1972. Michael Lewis. "The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World". Penguin, 2016 (ISBN 9780141983035).
  • It is sometimes easier to make the world a better place than to prove you have made the world a better place.
    • As remembered by Don Redelmeir, Michael Lewis, "The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World". Penguin, 2016 (ISBN 9780141983035).
  • Let us take what the terrain gives.
    • A phrase Tversky used increasingly often in the last few years with respect to choosing areas of research. Daniel Kahneman, 2002 Nobel Prize address. [1]

Quotes attributed to Tversky[edit]

  • “It's frightening to think that you might not know something, but more frightening to think that, by and large, the world is run by people who have faith that they know exactly what is going on.
    • attributed, but source not available.
  • He who sees the past as surprise-free is bound to have a future full of surprises.
    • attributed, but source not available.
  • Creeping determinism.
    • attributed, but source not available. In the context of historians being increasingly certain of the inevitability of past events.
  • Happy species endowed with infinite appreciation of pleasures and low sensitivity to pain would probably not survive the evolutionary battle.
    • attributed, but source not available.

Quotes about Amos Tversky[edit]

  • People who make a difference do not die alone. Something dies in everyone who was affected by them. Amos made a great deal of difference, and when he died, life was dimmed and diminished for many of us. There is less intelligence in the world. There is less wit. There are many questions that will never be answered with the same inimitable combination of depth and clarity. There are standards that will not be defended with the same mix of principle and good sense. Life has become poorer. There is a large Amos-shaped gap in the mosaic, and it will not be filled. It cannot be filled because Amos shaped his own place in the world, he shaped his life, and even his dying. And in shaping his life and his world, he changed the world and the life of many around him.

External links[edit]

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