This is a seminar course in which students will read articles and lead
group discussions about paper topics, including empirical tests,
policy implications and theoretical frameworks. The course will count
as a capstone for PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) students,
and it is open to graduate students as well as undergrads. Some of
the topics are flexible, but general themes will be the psychology of
judgments and decisions, behavioral law and economics, and
Some classes will be devoted to the supposed conflict between
intuitive and deliberative judgment, and the related theory that
emotions affect intuitive judgment primarily. We will discuss
chapters from Kahneman's new book, "Thinking, Fast and Slow." Other
classes will discuss issues of wealth redistribution, charitable
donations, and the fairness and framing of taxation. Finally, we will
cover topics of political judgment, overconfidence, predictions of
political and economic events, legal judgments such as criminal
sentencing and tort penalties, and moral judgment. In the case of
moral judgment, we shall focus on the dual-system theory of Joshua
Greene and related literature.
A detailed but tentative reading list will be available before the
semester begins in http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~jbaron/p453.html.
Students should be able to understand the statistical meaning of inferences commonly found in
psychology journal articles, without regarding expressions such as
"t(59)=2.96, p=.02" as spots on the page.
Department permission is required.