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Amos Tversky

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Title: Amos Tversky  
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Subject: Eldar Shafir, Daniel Kahneman, Allais paradox, Clustering illusion, Rank-dependent expected utility
Collection: 1937 Births, 1996 Deaths, 20Th-Century Economists, Behavioral Economists, Behavioral Finance, Cognitive Psychologists, Deaths from Skin Cancer, Experimental Economists, Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellows of the Econometric Society, Financial Economists, Framing Theorists, Grawemeyer Award Winners, Guggenheim Fellows, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty, Israeli Emigrants to the United States, Israeli Jews, Israeli People of Belarusian Descent, Israeli Psychologists, Jewish American Scientists, MacArthur Fellows, Members of the United States National Academy of Sciences, People from Haifa, Social Psychologists, Stanford University Department of Psychology Faculty, University of Michigan Alumni
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Amos Tversky

Amos Tversky
Born (1937-03-16)March 16, 1937
Haifa, Mandatory Palestine
Died June 2, 1996(1996-06-02) (aged 59)
Stanford, California
Nationality Israel
Fields Cognitive psychology, Behavioral economics
Institutions Hebrew University, Stanford University
Alma mater University of Michigan
Known for Prospect theory
Heuristics & biases
Notable awards Grawemeyer Award in Psychology (2003)

Amos Nathan Tversky (Hebrew: עמוס טברסקי‎; March 16, 1937 – June 2, 1996) was a cognitive and mathematical psychologist, a student of cognitive science, a collaborator of Daniel Kahneman, and a figure in the discovery of systematic human cognitive bias and handling of risk. Much of his early work concerned the foundations of measurement. He was co-author of a three-volume treatise, Foundations of Measurement (recently reprinted). His early work with Kahneman focused on the psychology of prediction and probability judgment; later they worked together to develop prospect theory, which aims to explain irrational human economic choices and is considered one of the seminal works of behavioral economics. Six years after Tversky's death, Kahneman received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for the work he did in collaboration with Amos Tversky.[1] (The prize is not awarded posthumously.) Kahneman told The New York Times in an interview soon after receiving the honor: "I feel it is a joint prize. We were twinned for more than a decade."[2] Tversky also collaborated with many leading researchers including Thomas Gilovich, Itamar Simonson, Paul Slovic and Richard Thaler. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Tversky as the 93rd most cited psychologist of the 20th century, tied with Edwin Boring, John Dewey, and Wilhelm Wundt.[3]


  • Biography 1
  • Career 2
    • Comparative Ignorance 2.1
    • Notable contributions 2.2
    • Tversky Intelligence Test 2.3
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Tversky was born in [4] He died of a metastatic melanoma.[5]


Comparative Ignorance

Tversky and Fox (1995)[6] addressed ambiguity aversion, the idea that people do not like ambiguous gambles or choices with ambiguity, with the comparative ignorance framework. Their idea was that people are only ambiguity averse when their attention is specifically brought to the ambiguity by comparing an ambiguous option to an unambiguous option. For instance, people are willing to bet more on choosing a correct colored ball from an urn containing equal proportions of black and red balls than an urn with unknown proportions of balls when evaluating both of these urns at the same time. However, when evaluating them separately, people are willing to bet approximately the same amount on either urn. Thus, when it is possible to compare the ambiguous gamble to an unambiguous gamble people are averse — but not when one is ignorant of this comparison.

Notable contributions

The shape of the value (utility) function in prospect theory. The asymmetry of the function corresponds to loss aversion.

Tversky Intelligence Test

As recounted by Malcolm Gladwell in 2013's David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, Tversky's peers thought so highly of him that they devised a tongue-in-cheek one-part test for measuring intelligence. As related to Gladwell by psychologist Adam Alter, the Tversky Intelligence Test was "The faster you realized Tversky was smarter than you, the smarter you were."[7]


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  7. ^ Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, 2013, page 103

External links

  • Memorial Resolution - Amos Tversky
  • Boston Globe: The man who wasn't there
  • Daniel Kahneman – Autobiography
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