Wednesday, October 22, 2008

decision making under uncertainty (os)

This is just a quote, taken from the Goodhart 2008 Shackle Lectures, which may help one or another in finding the right partner:
Marriage consultants often disapprove of people who marry the first or second partner they are engaged with, rather than looking systematically for more alternatives and experience in making such an important decision. Likewise, economists complain about the limited rationality in partner choice. When I hear similar criticisms, I ask the narrator how he found a partner. “Oh, that was different!” he tells me, and relates a story of an accidental meeting….. To date I have met only one man, an economist, who responded that he followed the Benjamin Franklin method to choose a partner. He sat down with a pencil and listed all the possible partners he could think of and all possible consequences he could imagine (such as whether she would still listen to him after being married, take care of the children, and let him work in peace). Next he put a number on the utilities of each consequence and then estimated the probabilities that each might come true. Finally, he multiplied the utilities with the probabilities and added them up. The woman he proposed to and married was the one with the highest expected utility, though he didn’t tell her about his strategy. By the way, he is now divorced (Gigerenzer 2007).