Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Raison d'etre

How do people make decisions? By reasoning or by intuition? What is reason? What is intuition? Can they be explained scientifically? Why does the behavior of Homo economicus, the hallmark of game theory, deviate from that of Homo Sapiens sapiens?

How do we process information? How do we think about issues? Which psychological mechanisms enable us to do such? Which psychological mechanisms blind us from better decisions?

Perhaps no reason justifies your reading of this blog, but we surely have a number of reasons for these posts, including:

(i) reviews of decision-making theories and papers,
(ii) reviews of decision-making in real life (a.k.a. current events) with analysis,
(iii) comments of what's on the blogosphere;
(iv) a summary of videos and course materials for FGV/EBAPE's Decision-making course;
(iv) Excess caffeine.

The word intuition on our title is our small claim to fame here... while economics, cognitive science, (a great deal of) psychology, computer science, and management science practically ignore this unscientific, hippie, new-age, esoteric term, it is our intention to shed some light into it and perhaps even throw some scientific respectability to this dismal word.

For the skeptics in there, who might think that this talk about intuition in decision-making is not to be taken seriously, you might want to have a glimpse of it in action. Here are:

Two top grandmasters, Maxim Dlugy and Hikaru Nakamura, battling it out in a 1-minute blitz game after the U.S. Championship. [International Master Ben Finegold comments on the side.]

...aaaand black resigns.

Now, what do you think they were thinking?