Misunderstandings: False Beliefs in Communication - cover image


Georg Weizsäcker


  • English


  • KC
  • KCK


  • KC
  • KCA
  • KCK


  • BUS069000
  • BUS069010
  • BUS069040
  • BUS016000


    False Beliefs in Communication

    • Georg Weizsäcker (author)
    What do we expect when we say something to someone, and what do they expect when they hear it? When is a conversation successful? The book considers a wide set of two-person conversations, and a bit of game theory, to show how conversational statements and their interpretations are governed by beliefs. Thinking about beliefs is suitable for communication analysis because beliefs are well-defined and measurable, allowing to differentiate between successful understandings and their less successful counterparts: misunderstandings.

    The book describes the theoretical framework and empirical measurements of misunderstandings – written by an economist, but in simple words and using interdisciplinary concepts. The material will benefit students and researchers of behavioural economics and its neighbouring fields, and anyone interested in human language.


    The most Zen part of economics has to do with how people form beliefs about the beliefs of others. Georg Weizsäcker is a Zen master at explaining the origins of misunderstandings, particularly those arising from false beliefs about the beliefs of others.

    Alvin E. Roth

    Stanford University


    Georg Weizsäcker

    Professor of Economics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

    Georg Weizsäacker is a behavioral economist. He obtained his PhD in Business Economics at Harvard University, has taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science and at University College London, and is now Professor of Economics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His research lies in the areas of experimental economics, decision theory and applied microeconomics, with numerous contributions on the understanding and interpretations of other people's statements and choices. He is a Fellow of the European Economic Association, was appointed to numerous scientific committees and boards, and currently serves as the spokesperson of a research center on applied behavioral economics that is funded by the German Science Foundation.