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Athenaeum speaker Daniel Kahneman - Claremont McKenna supplement

sogoldman 6 / 21 2  
Jan 2, 2013   #1
I literally just wrote this, and it is due in 3 hours and 40 minutes. Uh oh.

It needs a lot of work, so be brutal!

Leadership is a constant theme and emphasis at CMC. One way CMC emphasizes leadership is through the Athenaeum Speaker Series , which enables CMC students to dine with leaders from a wide range of fields every weeknight during the academic year. Recent speakers have included authors, activists, entrepreneurs, scientists, professors, politicians, and more. If you could invite anyone to speak at the Athenaeum, who would you choose and why?

Daniel Kahneman is a pretty cool guy, and he has made some really interesting breakthroughs in my two favorite subjects of all time: Psychology and Economics. I love Psychology because it combines physics, chemistry, biology and statistics to analyze human thought and behavior. Economics focuses on production, distribution and consumption; I am particularly interested in how it combines math and psychology to analyze decision-making. I love social sciences. Even when I could skip my Psychology and Economics finals and keep my A, I pored over my notes for hours and summarized my favorite topics because I wanted to, not because I had to. Furthermore, social sciences are psychologically arousing; I often feel my limbic system activate and sense epinephrine course through my body as I walk to my Economics class--not because I feel like a salmon in a river of students, pushing my way through the crowd and swinging my backpack like a weapon, but because I love social sciences. They help explain the unexplainable, bring order to the chaotic human mind and help us understand who we are.

Now, to explain what exactly Mr. Kahneman did and why it was so cool. As you know, all economic principles are derived from the assumption that people are rational. However, after watching videos of stampedes at Walmart on Black Friday, we realize that people aren't rational. Why were there so many people at Walmart as to cause a stampede? Was it really in their best interest to wake up at one in the morning and spend hundreds of dollars on goods they can't afford? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say no; the victims of the Walmart stampede did not behave rationally. But that's human nature, right? We're unpredictable, and there's nothing we can do about it. Well, Kahneman and his colleague Amos Tversky found order in our chaos with their prospect theory, which aims to explain irrational decisions. For example, they concluded that we tend to make assumptions based on small amounts data, especially if we have available examples in our memory. After recently seeing two or three Walmart stampede videos, we are more likely to assume that stampedes happen all the time. With prospect theory, economists can develop their assumptions to organize and understand irrational behavior. However, prospect theory is complicated, and, even though I think it is very interesting, I do not understand it. I would be honored to listen to Kahneman explain his conclusions.
moon05 13 / 133 20  
Jan 3, 2013   #2
After seeing the thread at first I thought why didn't you give some intro for the college! But then as I scrolled down I saw that you did a wonderful work in a short space. But what I thought as a very minor thing is:

Furthermore, with a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, CMC will ensure my personal attention.

I think it should have beenME .

Although that's not a big thing.

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