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Organizational Psychology Seminar: Do people really make these kinds of errors?

Venue: Online

Join the Department of Organizational Psychology for a seminar by Professor Emmanuel Pothos, City, University of London.


An important aspect of behavioural consulting is how to aid decision makers in making ‘correct’ decisions. But what are such ‘correct’ decisions? With a research tradition (into heuristics and biases) spanning decades and underwritten by two Nobel prizes, there has been a wealth of evidence to the effect that there are often persistent discrepancies between what scientists consider the ‘correct’ decision and human behaviour. Do we have to conclude that humans are irrational? In this talk, Professor Emmanuel Pothos will discuss some of the better known fallacies that will offer motivation for the approach to decision making he has been working on, based on quantum theory. In one line, quantum theory is just like the established normative theory of Bayesian theory, but in a ‘local’ way. Emmanuel offers some examples and novel predictions, the latter based on collaborative work with organisational psychologists.


Emmanuel completed his DPhil under the supervision of Nick Chater in 1998 and went on to work at Bangor, Edinburgh, and Swansea Universities, before coming to City. His research is about trying to understand human probabilistic inference: much of human reasoning relates to estimating probabilities, whether for simple matters in everyday life, decisions in business contexts, or major national policy. How does the mind do this? Emmanuel has published a fair amount on this topic and received funding from applied organisations, such as the Office of Naval Research Global and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

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