Chair of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation

Workshop 2014 - Controversies in Game Theory: Homo Oeconomicus Versus Homo Socialis

ETH Zurich (Switzerland), September 8-12, 2014


Explaining and predicting the behavior of humans is one of the core puzzles of science. Explaining human behavior is particularly difficult when the outcomes of a decision do not only depend on the behavior of the decision maker but also on the behavior of others. Examples are abound, ranging from family and work life, to financial markets, to international relations. In these settings, decision makers do not only consider their own interests but also predict the behavior of their interaction partners.

The most powerful theory that deals with these kind of problems is game theory. The mini-course `Controversies in Game Theory: Homo Oeconomicus versus Homo Socialis' provides an in-depth introduction to issues in game theory. In particular, the course will focus on the recent debate about own-regarding and other-regarding preferences. The course integrates theory and empirical research from sociology, economics, physics, and biology. The course will cover contributions in theoretical, experimental, evolutionary and cooperative game theory, and is concluded with a `master class' on current research directions.

Motivated students, graduate and researchers are invited to follow the course, attend the final-day master class, and join the debate!




The first four days of the workshop from Sept. 8 to 11 are organized as a block course with three lectures each day from 9 to 12 am. For details please visit the course website.

The panel sessions take place on Friday Sept. 12 from 9 to 12 am and from 2 to 5 pm. the conference schedule will be published here as soon as registration has closed.

Date Time Presenter Title Room
08.09. 09.00-10.00 Dirk Helbing Introduction to the course. LFO C 13
Herbert Gintis Anatomy of Other-Regarding Behavior: Private Selves, Public Selves, Character Virtues, and Categorical Imperatives. LFO C 13
  11.00-12.00 Bruno Frey Beyond Standard Behavioral Economics. LFO C 13
09.09. 09.00-10.00 Heiko Rauhut Models of reciprocity for homo economicus and homo socialis. LFO C 13
  10.00-11.00 Ryan Murphy Social Value Orientation: Theoretical and Measurement Issues in the Study of Social Preferences. LFO C 13
  11.00-12.00 Andreas Diekmann Norm violations and the second-order free rider dilemma. Strategic motives versus altruistic punishment. LFO C 13
10.09. 09.00-10.00 Dirk Helbing How Natural Selection Can Create Both Self- and Other-Regarding Preferences, and Networked Mind. LFO C 13
  10.00-11.00 Heinrich Nax Evolution of Cooperative Behavior under Meritocratic Matching. LFO C 13
  11.00-12.00 Herbert Gintis Homo Socialis: An Analytical Core for Sociological Theory. LFO C 13
11.09. 09.00-10.00 Urs Fischbacher Theory and evidence on the assessment of intention and responsibility I. LFO C 13
  10.00-11.00 Urs Fischbacher Theory and evidence on the assessment of intention and responsibility II. LFO C 13
  11.00-12.00 Michael Mäs Experiments on unintended consequences of rational behavior. LFO C 13
12.09. 09.00-12.00
Workshop Panel leader: Urs Fischbacher
Panel participants: Ryan Murphy, Daniel Chen, Michael Maes, Heiko Rauhut

9:00 Daniel Chen »» presents
9:45 Michael Maes discusses Daniel Chen
10:00 break
10:10 Heiko Rauhut presents
10:50 break
11:00 Panel: other-regarding preferences; stylized facts & open questions

12:00 lunch

LFO C 13
  14.00-17.00 Workshop Panel leader: Dirk Helbing
Panel participants: Alex Rigos, Heinrich Nax, Herb Gintis

14:00 Alexandros Rigos »» presents and discusses "Grund et al."
14:45 Heinrich Nax discusses assortative/ meritocratic matching
15:00 break
15:10 Gintis on "A cooperative species"
15:50 break
16:00 Panel: evolution of social preferences; stylized facts & open questions
LFO C 13

Note: Due to the high number of registrations, there have been some last-minute scheduling changes so all lectures are now in room LFO C 13 for the whole workshop (i.e. all sessions from IFW C 33 have been moved there).


The workshop is now open to external guests. Please send a brief email to register with your name, position and affiliation to organizers.

Note: ETH Zurich and University of Zurich students are particularly encouraged to participate in both the Block Course and the Workshop. Please register via mystudies (UZH students will be able to register as special students there starting August 1st 2014).

Organizing Committee

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