Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sensible irrationality?

I recently posted on neuroeconomics, which attempts to understand the neural basis for human decision-making. One of the primary motivations of the field is understanding the irrationality of our decisions; i.e. why they are often contrary to the logical choices that would maximize one's personal outcome. Mind Hacks has a post on a recent Scientific American article that discusses "how [some of] our decisions are often irrational in game theory terms, but can still be more beneficial than the supposed rational choice." The article is free, and offers an interesting perspective on "rationality" verus "common sense."

13 comments:

Enigman said...

That argument reminded me of the surprise exam paradox, and I suspect that its "logic" is similarly flawed. Surely 2 cannot really be the logical choice? I'm not challenging the idea that we can benefit by not thinking things through, but perhaps a better argument for that would be the St. Petersburg Paradox?

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