Mary´s Father has five daughters. Their names are: 1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini, 4. Nono and 5. ______.

What is the name of the fifth daughter?



The intuitive response most people give is to look after-a-e-i-o- and go with Nunu.

The correct answer is already given in the question: Mary.


Did you get it correct?  Great job!  Odds are, though, that your brain tried to force you to accept the wrong (fast) answer first. 


Daniel Kahneman, who was the first psychologist to win the Nobel Prize in Economics (2002), explains why an intuitive reaction is not always the best. In his groundbreaking book “Thinking: Fast and Slow,” he discusses intuitive (fast) and rational (slow) thinking. He shows us how an intuitive reaction could lead to problems and what the limitations are of our common sense.

Kahneman believes that fast and intuitive thinking ('system 1', in his terminology) is safe if:

  • The issue is simple;
  • You have seen an issue like this many times before and resolved it successfully
  • The cost of being wrong is low and the consequences are acceptable

Kahneman believes that we can think more slowly ('system 2'), when:

  • Issues are complex and the solution is not obvious;
  • You have not seen an issue like this before. For example, a new machine falters and existing procedures and protocols are not bringing the solution;
  • The cost of being wrong is high and the consequences unacceptable. For example, the machine stops, which significantly impairs the operation.
It's all about switching at the right time

Everyone is able to respond intuitively to a simple issue. It is essential to distinguish between simple and complex issues, and between a fast response and a slow, more thoughtful one. Kepner-Tregoe is known for its expertise in Problem Solving and Decision Making that can enable your teams to demonstrate Clear Thinking in all they do, leading to smarter strategies, better resolution of issues, and more effective execution.


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