Amos and Danny…

Well, Michael Lewis has done it again. His latest rant, titled The Undoing Project, tells the story of two Jewish psychologists, Amos and Danny, who have changed our minds. Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman have done more research on what makes us tick than any two, one could argue, in history. Their life’s work has best been captured in the book titled, Thinking Fast and Slow. In Lewis book he takes you through their story, how they met, where they came from, how they met, and what it was like to watch them work. If, like me, you are fascinating by the behavioral sciences, the study of these two is mandatory.

Amos and Danny, like so many cool couples, are polar opposites. Danny doubts almost everything he thinks and Amos has no doubt his thoughts are right. Amos was a stud in the Israeli Armed Forces and jumped out of jets without so much as thinking. Danny was in the IAF too but he never tasted combat, instead preferring to operate in the background deciding who best to fly those same jets. The two of them argued famously and laughed hysterically. However the most telling trait of their chemistry as scientists was found in one, comically simple thing.

According to Lewis, “Amos would turn up around noon and the two of them would walk down to a fish and chips place no one else could stand, eat lunch, and then return and talk the rest of the day. ‘They had a certain style of working,’ recalls Paul Slovis, ‘which is they just talked to each other for hour after hour after hour.’ Whatever Amos and Danny were talking about must be funny, as they spent half their time laughing. They bounced back and forth between Hebrew and English and broke each other up in both.”

They talked. Really talked. There is no substitute, in your partnerships, friend, for real, honest, conversation. So, next time you think about the confirmation bias, actor/observer bias, loss aversion, or even the silly coffee and donut problem from BTL practices, remember, you’ve got Amos and Danny to thank. Thank God these two talked…

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