[ View menu ]

Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith at bounded rationality summer school

Filed in Conferences ,Programs ,SJDM
Subscribe to Decision Science News by Email (one email per week, easy unsubscribe)



The 7th Summer Institute on Bounded Rationality in Psychology and Economics will
introduce graduate students and early career researchers from different disciplines to the
study of bounded and ecological rationality. This novel approach to human decision making
examines the simple processes and cognitive mechanisms that enable good decision
making in specific environments. This perspective has seen rapid theoretical development
over the last decade with psychologists and economists taking the lead in showing how the
study of bounded rationality can provide a greater understanding of the human mind and
adaptive decision making.

Classical theories of decision making are largely based on a vision of rationality that is
unrealistic. For example, “rational” humans are often imagined to be equipped with
unlimited knowledge, time, and information-processing power. In contrast, to understand
the way that people with limited resources actually make good decisions in everyday social
and economic tasks, bounded rationality (which should not be confused with optimization
under constraints or the heuristics and biases program) starts with a more psychologically
plausible perspective: Humans are able to make good decisions by using simple heuristic
processes that are adapted to particular task environments (i.e. ecological rationality).

The main objective of the Summer Institute is to introduce students from various fields to
the study of bounded rationality. This year our specific focus will be on ecological
rationality. The first goal will be to provide an overview of the main research areas in
which ecological rationality has been studied. This will include an introduction to the
specific research methods used through participation in experiments, observations, and
simulations. As well, participants and faculty will discuss several key findings from
economics and psychology. To insure active involvement of all participants, lectures will be
balanced with small group workshops. As a second goal, the Summer Institute will also
give participants the opportunity to present their own research in a poster session, in order
to facilitate feedback, discussion and future research development.

The interdisciplinary Summer Institute is directed by Gerd Gigerenzer (Max-Planck-
Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany). This year’s keynote speaker will be
Nobel laureate Vernon Smith. Other faculty will include members of the organizing
institute, as well as several invited international speakers from a variety of disciplines.

To ensure an excellent learning environment participation in the summer school is limited
to approximately 35 talented graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from around the
world. The summer institute provides stipends to all participants to cover part of their
expenses for travel and accommodation. Precise information on the stipends will be
announced to the applicants at a later point in time. Interested students should apply by
April 7, 2008 with a brief application letter, CV, and one short letter of recommendation,
preferably sent by email.

For more details on the Summer Institute and the application process, please visit our
website: www.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/summerinstitute