Daniel Kahneman - the Psychologist with a Nobel Prize in Economics

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Daniel Kahneman is an internationally recognized Israeli-American psychologist known for his elaborative works in economics and psychology. He is a Nobel Prize recipient, and his works on cognitive biases, behavioral economics, and prospect theory are thought-provoking and have given the world a new perspective.

Kahneman was educated in the field of psychology and began his career as an academician at Hebrew University. He also moved to take up several roles at institutions like the University of California, Princeton, and British Columbia.

Even though he was a psychologist and had no experience in economics, Kahneman became a Nobel Prize winner in the field of economics with his research and work on the Prospect Theory.


Daniel Kahneman was born to a secular Jewish family in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1934. After completing primary school, he enrolled in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He graduated in 1954, attaining his Bachelor's degree in science as a psychology major and a mathematics minor.

After receiving his graduate degree, he was inducted into the Israeli Defense Force. He worked in the psychology department and was responsible for assessing candidates enrolled in the officer training program to determine what kind of job they would be best suited for.

After gaining some practical experience, he decided to continue his studies. In 1958, he moved to the United States to pursue a PhD in psychology. He attained his doctorate in 1961.

Achievements and Awards

Daniel Kahneman has received numerous prestigious awards. A few of the most notable ones are the following:
  • In 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his research and development of the Prospect Theory. His research partner, Amos Tversky, also shared the award with him. The duo received the award for the research they began more than twenty years ago in 1979.
  • In 2007, Kahneman received the Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology award from the American Psychological Association.
  • In 2009, he received an honorary doctorate from the economics department of Erasmus University in the Netherlands.
  • The years 2011 and 2012 were the most fruitful for Daniel Kahneman. He was listed as one of the top 50 most influential people in global finance for both years.
  • He won the Talcott Parsons Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. He also grabbed the Times Book Award for his world-renowned book, ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’.
  • In 2012, the same book received the Best Book Published in 2011 award from the National Academy of Sciences and Communication.

Final Thoughts

Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist and cognitive scientist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. He had a significant impact on the fields of psychology and economics. In psychology, he is known for his work on cognitive biases, which are mental shortcuts that lead to systematic deviations from rational decision-making. 

He is also a pioneer in other studies that analyze how people make decisions based on emotions and instincts rather than rational thinking. In behavioral economics, Kahneman is most frequently associated with the Prospect Theory. 

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