Conversations with Tyler: Daniel Kahneman

Tyler Cowen explores the world of ideas in one-on-one dialogues with today’s top thinkers.

Nov 12, 2018
6:00pm7:30pm
George Mason University Founders Hall Auditorium 3351 Fairfax Drive Arlington, VA 22201
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Event Speakers

Tyler Cowen

Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University

Daniel Kahneman

Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist and internationally best-selling author of Thinking Fast and Slow, will join Tyler Cowen for a wide-ranging dialogue as part of the Mercatus Center’s Conversations with Tyler series.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1934, Kahneman spent his childhood years in Paris until the early 1940s when the Nazis began persecuting French Jews. The family escaped occupation by living in barns and chicken coops, but Kahneman’s father passed from illness 6 weeks before D-Day.

In 1961, Daniel Kahneman began his career at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It was there that he met his “work soulmate” Amos Tversky, with whom Kahneman joined the Israeli army after the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973. They studied military training, casualties, and shell-shocked soldiers in the psychology unit.

Called the Lennon and McCartney of social science, Tversky and Kahneman’s differences – one decidedly optimistic, the other hopelessly pessimistic – struck their colleagues and students, yet these differences empowered their success. Together, they pioneered groundbreaking research on cognitive biases and developed theories on how individuals make decisions. Ultimately, their collaboration earned Kahneman the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002, six years after Tversky’s death.

In his later work, Kahneman focused on “hedonic psychology,” or the science behind happiness, and wrote Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011), his international, best-selling book. In it, he explores two systems in the human psyche that drive how individuals think. His research shaped the work of behavioral economists, popularized “nudge theory,” and gained him recognition as “the world's most influential living psychologist.”

For questions, please contact Haley Larsen at hlarsen@mercatus.gmu.edu. Members of the media may contact Kate DeLanoy at kdelanoy@mercatus.gmu.edu to inquire about press passes.

Registration for this event is not yet open. To be notified when registration opens, please sign up for the Conversations with Tyler email list here.