The first GPS I ever encountered had a quirk. If it stopped receiving a signal it would, without any indication or alarm of any kind, switch over to navigation by dead reckoning. It would always give you a position that looked accurate out to three places - even if it was not receiving a signal at all.
(The cruise ship Royal Majesty went aground for this reason)
Turns out, the human mind works much the same way. Here is an example from the book
People have a strong bias for plausible narratives and prefer them to more probably scenario. From chapter 9:
A remarkable aspect of your mental life is that you are rarely stumped......The normal state of your mind is that you have intuitive feelings and opinions about almost everything that comes your way.
The mind uses a trick the author calls Substituting Questions. Rather then answer a hard question the mind substitutes a simple problems and answers that one instead. Ironically the less information we have about a question the more certain we are that we have found the correct answer.
There is far more in this book then the above. The best review I've seen is this one from the New York Time Book Review.
Wikipedia has a good summary here.
Thinking Fast and Slow has five parts:
Part 1 Two Systems
Part 2 Heuristics and Biases
Part 3 Overconfidence
Part 4 Choices
Part 5 Two Selves
The difficulty I had with this book is it seems too long. I found parts 1 through 3 to be fascinating but started bogging down a little on parts 4 and 5. When I hit the section about Bernoulli's Errors and the fourfold pattern I felt the author was starting to torment me.
At one point when I came to problems in the book like "Bet A 11/36 to win $160, 25/36 to lose $15 or Bet B 35/36 to win $40, 1/36 to lose $10" I had to skim, I understand that I don't understand.
This problem is a little more up my alley - I got it wrong but it illustrates the point.
A bat and ball cost $1.10.
The bat costs one dollar more than the ball.
How much does the ball cost?
Most people choose 10 cents - the correct answer is 5 cents: an explanation is here.
A point of interest to mariners was the section on feedback and practice in the chapter on Expert Intuition. The author compares driving a car which we can master quickly compared to a harbor pilot maneuvering a large ship. Ship handling takes much longer to learn because of the long delay between the action and the outcome. The quality and speed of the feedback is much better in the case of the car.
I highly recommend this book if you make high-stakes decisions, every master does. I've read other books on cognitive bias and so forth but this book goes both deeper and covers more ground then any other book I've read. It is the "big picture" The going gets a bit heavy in places but overall well worth reading.