Professor of Analytic Philosophy
Researchers can often predict and control parts of the world. However, their theories and models are often based on simplified assumptions, and their observations are affected by random errors. Both researchers and non-researchers can make successful decisions that deeply affect their lives, health and happiness – despite the fact that they only have very limited information. Decision theory investigates what it means to make rational decisions in a world where the decider’s cognitive capacity is limited, and where one faces significant uncertainty regarding the results of one’s decisions.
Till Grüne-Yanoff’s research focuses on developing theoretical decision models that apply within two areas. The one involves investigating researchers’ method of choice and the motivation for these choices, based on the scientific goals. For example, Grüne-Yanoff studies what the motivation may be when choosing a simplified mathematical paper and pen model, rather than a detailed computer simulation ----
in order to model a specific system. The other area that is being studied focuses on how political efforts can help people (including researchers) to make better decisions in matters that affect their lives, health, and financial stability. In collaboration with a psychologist, Grüne-Yanoff has developed a new concept, called “Boost”, for behaviour-altering efforts such as these.