2019 General Assembly

On February 2, 2019, the members of the Rational Think Tank gathered in the General Assembly. The General Assembly discussed the present state of the project and decided upon various matters. Most importantly, the members chose among themselves new candidates to serve in the Managing Board. Since Tim Weckmar and Sinan Krückeberg left the Managing…

2018 Message from the Chairman

Dear Members – Dear Colleagues of the Management Board – Dear Supporters and Advisors – Dear Readers and Followers – From outside, one might have thought the Rational Think Tank entered belated hibernation last January until we hosted the 1st Panel on Nudging and Design Decisions in November. But I am glad to assure you…

Biases in Negotiations

On January 14, 2019, the Rational Think Tank started the new year by giving a talk on the effects of cognitive dynamics on negotiation. Board member Philip Hattemer spoke as guest speaker at Bonn Negotiators e.V.. In his lecture, he demonstrated the boundaries of rational behavior of everyone inside the room by using the Ultimatum…

1st Panel on Nudging and Design Decisions

The Rational Think Tank and its local sub-entity Bucerius Rational Think Tank hosted the First Panel on Nudging and Design Decisions at Bucerius Law School (Hamburg) on November 12, 2018. Professor Avishalom Tor (USA) and Professor Kai Purnhagen (Netherlands) gave their professional insights into selected aspects on the debate, moderated by Dr. Laurence O’Hara (Germany).…

2017 Message from the Chairman

Dear Members – Dear Colleagues of the Management Board – Dear Supporters and Advisors – Dear Readers and Followers – Looking back, we can indeed be proud. The year 2017 was a year of success and growth. Surely, we all do remember the moment clearly when we set our signatures under the bylaws on March…

Rational Roundup #7 – … And Now Change!

Now, looking back on many publications this year a question still remains unanswered: How much bias does each of us carry around with himself? Striving to be an as-rational-as-possible-person, we need to confront our own biases at some point. Looking into the mirror, we might discover flaws in our own behavior, decision-making and dissonances between…

Escalating the Commitment

Escalation of commitment is the tendency to invest additional resources in an apparently losing investment, influenced by effort, money and time already invested. If the costs outweigh the benefits, the extra costs incurred are held in a different mental account than the one associated with the first investment. To visualize this fallacy let us use…

NEUROLAW NOVEMBER III – The Social Brain

At the beginning, millions of years ago, bacteria were swallowing mitochondria. This small neighbor was not digested, however. Instead, the bacterium eventually evolved to live in a symbiotic relationship with its mitochondrial counterpart. The bacterium managed life, locomotion, food intake and more, while the mitochondria ensured that there was always plenty of energy available. This…

NEUROLAW NOVEMBER II – The Opposite of Truth

Imagine a world in which nobody is lying. A world in which no one has ever lied and will never lie. Which problems would emerge? How would life change? There would indeed be fundamental changes. Let us consider an example often used in criminal law classes: A husband whose wife falls in love with another…