Daniel Kahneman is one of the greatest psychology writers of our time. He has a nobel prize in economics for his work on human decision making and the impact on the economy.
His masterpiece Thinking Fast and Slow explains that our psychological structure is made up of two systems: System 1 and System 2.
System 1 is used for fast processing, and is highly intuitive. For example, if you look at a picture of somebody crying, you immediately know that they are sad and you know some actions you might take to help them out.
System 2 is slow and calculating and requires step by step processing. Consider for example:
17 x 33 = ?
In order for you to solve this equation, you have to use a “program” called “multiplication” in your brain and go through the steps to solve it.
When you experience the world day to day, your brain is doing an enormous amount of processing using System 1 that you barely experience. Most of the processing is parallel.
In this great psychology book, Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel goes over many of our psychological cognifitive biases and heuristics that cause our System 1 to make terrible misjudgements and miscalculations.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book for your own library. If you are a student of psychology, this book is an absolute must have. It may even be one of the best psychology books ever written.