Dr. Sabine Pittnauer (Visiting Fellow)



Sabine received both her M.A. and her PhD in Economics (summa cum laude) from the University of Bonn, in the latter case working under the supervision of Professor Reinhard Selten.

From 2006 to 2015 she worked at the University of Bonn in a research group led by Prof. Selten which, picking up on Herbert Simon’s concepts of bounded and procedural rationality, focused on principles of deliberative decision making in complex decision problems. Sabine co-designed and implemented a novel experimental technology eliciting decisions on the basis of a goal system. In several contexts, experiments using this technology revealed that student participants were able to devise quite sophisticated decision procedures which, without internalizing the criteria of full rationality (such as backward induction), often proved capable of approximating fully rational outcomes. Moreover, decisions could be improved through elicitation formats prompting deliberation without paternalizing decision makers. Currently, Sabine is focusing on applying insights from this experimental research to management and organizational issues. She has also applied Monte-Carlo simulations to model non-equilibrium dynamics of large systems of interacting economic agents.

Selected Publications

Selten, R., Pittnauer, S., & Hohnisch, M. 2012. Dealing with Dynamic Decision Problems when Knowledge of the Environment Is Limited: An Approach Based on Goal Systems. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 25(5), 443–457.

Hohnisch, M., Pittnauer, S., Selten, R., Pfingsten, A., & Eraßmy, J. 2014. Gender Differences in Decisions under Profound Uncertainty are Non-Robust to the Availability of Information on Equally Informed Others’ Decisions. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 108(December), 40–58.

Hohnisch, M., Pittnauer, S., Selten, R., & Pfingsten, A. 2016. Designing for Deliberative Goal-Based Decision Making in Environments with Rare Adverse Events. Organization Science 27(6), 1417-1434.

Hohnisch, M., Pittnauer, S., Pfingsten, A., & Selten, R. 2017. Heuristic Rules in Complex Managerial Decision Making: Cognitive Antecedents and Consequences for Performance. Working Paper (updated Dec 2017).

Pittnauer, S., Hohnisch, M., & Selten, R. 2017. From Exploratory Search to Exploratory Learning in Complex Environments—Incentives, Performance Feedback, and Lay Hypothesis Testing. Working Paper.

Hohnisch, M., Pittnauer, S., Pfingsten, A., & Selten, R. 2017. Emergence of Short-Termism in Principal-Multi-Agent Arrangements—From Reasoned Decision Rules to Irrational Outcomes. Working Paper.

Pittnauer, S., Hohnisch, M., Ostermaier, A.,  Pfingsten, A., & Selten, R. 2017. Harnessing the Potential of Cognitive Diversity to Improve Complex Decisions under Uncertainty—The Dilemma of Social Interaction. Working Paper.

Contact Info

Room 522 Bloomfield Building