Is there a formal way to study our decisions and tell if and when our choices are rational? ▪ What does game theory have to say about how we interact with others and what can we learn about our behaviour from game theory experiments? ▪ How do social norms shape our behaviour and what insights can we draw from models of biological and cultural evolution? ▪ Should governments use experimental psychology research to “nudge" people into eating healthy, saving for retirement, donating organs, and other forms of seemingly desirable behaviour? ▪ Why do we sometimes lack self-control and what do we do about it?

These are some questions that we'll look at in this course. An interdisciplinary approach that combines philosophy, economics, psychology, and computer science in the study of these questions is presently gaining popularity. This course will introduce students to decision-theoretic and game-theoretic study of rational choice and social interaction. We will cover topics ranging from well known philosophical riddles concerning the foundations of rational choice theory to very recent developments in behavioural game theory concerning modes of reasoning that people use in interactive decision-making.

The course is aimed at upper level undergraduate and postgraduate students in philosophy, economics, and other areas of research that have an interest in formal analysis of human decision making. The course doesn't require prior knowledge of decision theory, game theory, or economics, and all key concepts will be introduced and explained in course meetings. Basic knowledge of introductory material in these fields will help as well as a general aptitude for working with numbers and probabilities (basic math).