Georg Weizsäcker

Published On


Page Range

pp. 61–72


  • English

Print Length

12 pages

6. Seeing what they don’t see

  • Georg Weizsäcker (author)
Chapter 6 turns the table and describes how the interlocutors put themselves into the shoes of others. The chapter describes second-order beliefs: beliefs about beliefs. More precisely, the beliefs that each interlocutor has about the other person’s beliefs of the kind described in Chapter 3. Second-order beliefs may be inaccurate due a number of psychological biases, such as the “illusion of transparency”, and the chapter presents some measurements of second-order beliefs that, once again, point towards an under-conditioning of beliefs. Following up on earlier discussions, the chapter also discusses how second-order beliefs affect issues such as asking questions or politeness.


Georg Weizsäcker

Professor of Economics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Georg Weizsäcker 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 Research Foundation.