We periodically invite to campus distinguished
scholars to give mini-courses on a topic of current interest.
These mini-courses are open to all members of the Northwestern
community as well as visitors from other Colleges and
Universities. There are two "teachers" in the 2014-15 series: Alessandro Arlotto, Professor of Economics at Duke University, and Matthew Rabin, Professor of Behavioral Economics at Harvard University.
The next "teacher" will be Matthew Rabin: May 18-22, 2015. His course is entitled "Errors in Statistical Reasoning: Evidence, Models, Implications."
Please click on this Google Document to sign up for meetings and lunches.
Please click here for the reading list.
After giving a very brief introduction discussing broader limits to
rationality, the lectures provide a more focused introduction to ways
that people make systematic errors in reasoning about probabilities.
Examples of errors discussed are base-rate neglect, over-inference
from small samples, under-inference from large samples, and
confirmatory bias. We will discuss how these errors affect
over-confidence or under-confidence, the stability of beliefs, and
whether people learn fully in the long run. Emphasis will be placed on
how to formalize these biases and their properties, but the models are
selected because of existing psychological evidence and because of
likely economic implications, so the lectures are targeted at both
theorists interested in models with empirical implications and
empirical researchers interested in good theoretical and psychological
foundations. Some of the theoretical and empirical problems with the
models will also be emphasized.
Monday, May 18
Wednesday, May 20
Friday, May 22
For information on past mini-courses,