Talk: William English

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

392 Cohen Hall

William English

Assistant Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy

McDonough School of Business

Georgetown University


Title: Untangling the conditional logic of behavioral findings

Abstract: While behavioral economics research has flourished in recent years, generating a vast range of discrete findings, theoretical integration of many results has been a challenge. Even if a comprehensive theory of human psychology remains elusive, I argue it is both useful and often feasible to better qualify the conditions under which results hold. Moreover, this can shed light on important questions regarding a behavior's relationship to deep psychological processes and to normative beliefs. To illustrate these points, I examine three studies: a study of cheating that extends but also qualifies Ariely's work; an investigation of how earned wealth affects behavior in the ultimatum game, which contradicts a prominent prediction made by Fehr and Schmidt's theory of inequity aversion; and a study of how fundraising strategies change perceptions of political candidates, conditional on ideological orientation.