MIND

The Exploration of Economic Irrationality

A Conversation with
[11.13.08]

It was one of those watershed moments in science at which you would like to have been present. Last summer in Sonoma, three generations behavioral economists convened at a Master Class run by the Edge Foundation...If you are interested in getting your head around the current global economic meltdown, read through the transcript of this master class once more this autumn. You may not find direct answers, but you will certainly find elements of an explanation.

 

ANDRIAN KREYE is the editor of the Feuilleton of Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich. He is also an Edge contributor.

Andrian Kreye's Edge Bio 


LIFE IS THE WAY THE ANIMAL IS IN THE WORLD

Topic: 

  • MIND
http://vimeo.com/80903480

"The problem of consciousness is understanding how this world is there for us. It shows up in our senses. It shows up in our thoughts. Our feelings and interests and concerns are directed to and embrace this world around us. We think, we feel, the world shows up for us. To me that's the problem of consciousness. That is a real problem that needs to be studied, and it's a special problem."

LIFE IS THE WAY THE ANIMAL IS IN THE WORLD

[11.12.08]

The problem of consciousness is understanding how this world is there for us. It shows up in our senses. It shows up in our thoughts. Our feelings and interests and concerns are directed to and embrace this world around us. We think, we feel, the world shows up for us. To me that's the problem of consciousness. That is a real problem that needs to be studied, and it's a special problem.

A useful analogy is life. What is life? We can point to all sorts of chemical processes, metabolic processes, reproductive processes that are present where there is life. But we ask, where is the life? You don't say life is a thing inside the organism. The life is this process that the organism is participating in, a process that involves an environmental niche and dynamic selectivity. If you want to find the life, look to the dynamic of the animal's engagement with its world. The life is there. The life is not inside the animal. The life is the way the animal is in the world.

ALVA NOË is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. He works principally on the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, with special interest in the theory of perception, and is also interested in the philosophy of art, the history of analytic philosophy, Phenomenology, and Wittgenstein.

Alva Noë's Edge Bio Page


[16:01 minutes]

THE REALITY CLUB: Arnold Trehub

Master Class 2008: Putting Psychology into Behavioral Economics (Class 6)

[11.6.08]

There's new technology emerging from behavioral economics and we are just starting to make use of that. I thought the input of psychology into economics was finished but clearly it's not! 

PUTTING PSYCHOLOGY INTO BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS (Class 6)
Richard Thaler, Sendhil MullainathanDaniel Kahneman

Richard Thaler Sendil Mullanthan Daniel Kahneman

RICHARD THALER: ehavioral economics and good psychology, there's a lot of art. There is science and there are well-crafted experiments, but thinking about what the right experiment to run, was art and, there are 80 gazillion experiments, which ones are relevant to getting people to plant the right seed. That's a problem that Sendhil and I have been talking about for, well, since he was born. You're now seeing the results of 15 years of conversations. And there wasn't a scientific way of answering that question.

SENDHIL MULLAINAITHAN: A lot of what makes behavioral economics interesting is psychology, it is about what happens inside the mind. These phenomena are taking things that are happening inside the mind and interfacing them with things happening in the world, the environment, and getting feedback or getting interesting responses from that.

We happen to call the word economics. But it's not economics. You could be talking about crime, you could be talking about many things, in the social domain, the entire spectrum of human behavior. Anyone who is interested in the broader world should be interested in something we currently call "behavioral economics".

DANIEL KAHNEMAN: What we're saying is that there is a technology emerging from behavioral economics. It's not only an abstract thing. You can do things with it. We are just at the beginning. I thought that the input of psychology into behavioral economics was done. But hearing Sendhil was very encouraging because there was a lot of new psychology there. That conversation is continuing and it looks to me as if that conversation is going to go forward. It's pretty intuitive, based on research, good theory, and important. 

Sean ParkerAnne Treisman,  Paul RomerDanny HillisJeff BezosSalar KamangarGeorge DysonFrance LeClerc,

A SHORT COURSE IN BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS
Edge Master Class 2008
Richard Thaler, Sendhil Mullainathan, Daniel Kahneman
Sonoma, CA, July 25-27, 2008

AN EDGE SPECIAL PROJECT 


Master Class 2008: The Irony of Poverty (Class 5)

Topic: 

  • MIND
http://vimeo.com/82231355

"I want to close a loop, which I'm calling "The Irony of Poverty." On the one hand, lack of slack tells us the poor must make higher quality decisions because they don't have slack to help buffer them with things. But even though they have to supply higher quality decisions, they're in a worse position to supply them because they're depleted. That is the ultimate irony of poverty. You're getting cut twice. You are in an environment where the decisions have to be better, but you're in an environment that by the very nature of that makes it harder for you apply better decisions."

Master Class 2008: The Irony of Poverty (Class 5)

[10.29.08]

INTRODUCTION
CLASS ONE • CLASS TWO • CLASS THREE • CLASS FOUR • CLASS FIVE•  CLASS SIX
PHOTO GALLERY 

I want to close a loop, which I'm calling "The Irony of Poverty." On the one hand, lack of slack tells us the poor must make higher quality decisions because they don't have slack to help buffer them with things. But even though they have to supply higher quality decisions, they're in a worse position to supply them because they're depleted. That is the ultimate irony of poverty. You're getting cut twice. You are in an environment where the decisions have to be better, but you're in an environment that by the very nature of that makes it harder for you apply better decisions. —Sendhil Mullainathan

THE IRONY OF POVERTY (Class 5)
A Talk By Sendhil Mullainathan

SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN, a Professor of Economics at Harvard, a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant", conducts research on development economics, behavioral economics, and corporate finance. His work concerns creating a psychology of people to improve poverty alleviation programs in developing countries. He is Executive Director of Ideas 42, Institute of Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University. Sendhil Mullainathan's Edge Bio Page


[10:26 minutes]

Daniel Kahneman, Paul Romer, Richard Thaler, Danny Hillis, Jeff Bezos, Sean Parker, Anne Treisman, France LeClerc, Salar Kamangar, George Dyson

A SHORT COURSE IN BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS
Edge Master Class 2008
Richard Thaler, Sendhil Mullainathan, Daniel Kahneman
Sonoma, CA, July 25-27, 2008

AN EDGE SPECIAL PROJECT 


Master Class 2008: Two Big Things Happening in Psychology Today (Class 4)

[10.21.08]

INTRODUCTION
CLASS ONE • CLASS TWO • CLASS THREE • CLASS FOUR • CLASS FIVE•  CLASS SIX
PHOTO GALLERY


There's new technology emerging from behavioral economics and we are just starting to make use of that. I thought the input of psychology into economics was finished but clearly it's not! —Daniel Kahneman

TWO BIG THINGS HAPPENING IN PSYCHOLOGY TODAY (Class 4)
A Talk By Daniel Kahneman

DANIEL KAHNEMAN, a psychologist at Princeton University, is the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics. Daniel Kahneman's Edge Bio page.

Danny Hillis, Richard Thaler, Nathan Myhrvold, Elon Musk, France LeClerc, Salar Kamangar, Anne Treisman, Sendhil Mullainathan, Jeff Bezos,
Sean Parker 

A SHORT COURSE IN BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS

Edge Master Class 2008
Richard Thaler, Sendhil Mullainathan, Daniel Kahneman
Sonoma, CA, July 25-27, 2008

AN EDGE SPECIAL PROJECT 

THE REALITY CLUB: W. Daniel Hillis, Daniel Kahneman, Nathan Myhrvold, Richard Thaler


Master Class 2008: The Psychology of Scarcity (Class 3)

Topic: 

  • MIND
http://vimeo.com/82231014

Let's put aside poverty alleviation for a second, and let's ask, "Is there something intrinsic to poverty that has value and that is worth studying in and of itself?" One of the reasons that is the case is that, purely aside from magic bullets, we need to understand are there unifying principles under conditions of scarcity that can help us understand behavior and to craft intervention. If we feel that conditions of scarcity evoke certain psychology, then that, not to mention pure scientific interest, will affect a vast majority of interventions.

Master Class 2008: The Psychology of Scarcity (Class 3)

[10.15.08]

INTRODUCTION
CLASS ONE • CLASS TWO • CLASS THREE • CLASS FOUR • CLASS FIVE•  CLASS SIX
PHOTO GALLERY 


Let's put aside poverty alleviation for a second, and let's ask, "Is there something intrinsic to poverty that has value and that is worth studying in and of itself?" One of the reasons that is the case is that, purely aside from magic bullets, we need to understand are there unifying principles under conditions of scarcity that can help us understand behavior and to craft intervention. If we feel that conditions of scarcity evoke certain psychology, then that, not to mention pure scientific interest, will affect a vast majority of interventions. It's an important and old question. —Sendhil Mullainathan

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SCARCITY (Class 3)
A Talk By Sendhil Mullainathan 

SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN, a Professor of Economics at Harvard, a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant", conducts research on development economics, behavioral economics, and corporate finance. His work concerns creating a psychology of people to improve poverty alleviation programs in developing countries. He is Executive Director of Ideas 42, Institute of Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University.

Nathan Myhrvold, Richard ThalerDaniel Kahneman, France LeClerc ,Danny Hillis,  Paul Romer, George DysonElon MuskJeff BezosSean Parker

A SHORT COURSE IN BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS
Edge Master Class 2008
Richard Thaler, Sendhil Mullainathan, Daniel Kahneman
Sonoma, CA, July 25-27, 2008

AN EDGE SPECIAL PROJECT 


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