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Gerd Gigerenzer

speaker location icon Berlin, Germany

One of the foremost experts on decision making and risk management

Director, Max Planck Institute for Human Development (1997-present)

Best-selling author, "Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions" (2015)

Gerd Gigerenzer is a psychologist specialising in problem-solving and decision-making. He is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy, based in Berlin.

An acclaimed academic, he is former Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and John M. Olin Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Law at the University of Virginia. He is also Batten Fellow at the Darden Business School, University of Virginia, and Fellow of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the German Academy of Sciences.

Awards for his work include the AAAS Prize for the best article in the behavioural sciences, and the Association of American Publishers Prize for the best book in the social and behavioral sciences.

His award-winning popular books “Calculated Risks: How To Know When Numbers Deceive You” (2002), “Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious” (2008), and most recently “Risk Savvy: How To Make Good Decisions” (2015) were translated into 18 languages. His academic books include “Rationality for Mortals” (2010), “Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart and Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox” (1999, with Reinhard Selten, a Nobel Laureate in economics). In “Better Doctors, Better Doctors, Better Decisions” (2013, with Sir Muir Gray), he shows how better informed doctors and patients can improve healthcare while reducing the costs.

Together with the Bank of England, he is working on the project “Simple heuristics for a safer world.” Gerd has trained US federal judges, German physicians, and top managers in decision making and understanding risks and uncertainties.

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Our Comment

"Gerd Gigerenzer has become one of the foremost names in the understanding of decision-making and risk management. He argues that when it comes to taking risks in life, we are often much better off following our instincts than expert advice. He draws valuable lessons, and offers clear explanations on how to become risk-savvy."


Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions

 

In this age of big data we often trust that expert analysis—whether it’s about next year’s stock market or a person’s risk of getting cancer—is accurate. But, as risk expert Gerd Gigerenzer reveals in his latest book, Risk Savvy, most of us, including doctors, lawyers, and financial advisors, often misunderstand statistics, leaving us misinformed and vulnerable to exploitation.

Yet there’s hope. In Risk Savvy, Gigerenzer gives us an essential guide to the science of good decision making, showing how ordinary people can make better decisions for their money, their health, and their families. Here, Gigerenzer delivers the surprising conclusion that the best results often come from considering less information and listening to your gut.

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