On Thursday lunchtime Mr R Hughes delivered the first in this year’s series of Spark Lectures on the topic 'Economics and the Limits of Reason'. The event was very well attended, with approximately 70 pupils, students and staff engaging in questions of whether human beings always act rationally, as Economics would predict. For example:
Imagine you have decided to see a film and paid the admission price of £10 per ticket. As you enter the cinema, you discover that you have lost the ticket. The seat was not marked, you have no receipt, and the ticket cannot be recovered. Would you pay £10 for another ticket?
Imagine you have decided to see a film where the admission is £10 per ticket. As you enter the cinema, you discover that you have lost a £10 note. You still have enough money to pay for the ticket. Would you still pay £10 for the ticket for the film?
It was interesting to see that our audience breakdown was similar to that conducted under experimental conditions- that in the first question the audience split roughly 50/50, though in the second question nearly 80% of our audience responded ‘yes’ and only 20% responded no. The fact that these questions have the same logical value made a good example of the difference between ‘economic man’ and normal humans.
The Spark Lecture series is a new initiative designed to inspire Cokethorpe pupils, as they have the opportunity to listen to their teachers deliver a range of interesting academic talks during lunchtime.
Questions from the Lecture
Presentation Slides from the Lecture