ABSTRACT

Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, the authors of “Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases” are Israeli psychologists. Educated in Israel and in the United States, both spent time serving in the Israeli armed forces; Tversky was a paratroop captain cited for bravery after saving a man’s life, Kahneman a military psychologist who assessed the capabilities of his fellow soldiers. Their military experience sparked a long-term interest in human decision-making. Tversky suggested that growing up in a country fighting for its survival influenced him to think about applied, real-world judgment and decision-making, rather than about theoretical problems alone. Tversky and Kahneman worked out that the differences between the groups estimates could be attributed to the use of a heuristic. Tversky and Kahneman combined experimental research in psychology with theories of economics. Their work revolutionized both these fields by challenging the model of rational choice theory, then popular across the social sciences.