Pillar / Cluster: Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Dr. Méder is a philosopher-turned-economist interested in various aspects of decision making and strategic behavior. In his PhD thesis defended at Maastricht University, he argues for an epistemically reflected treatment of decision making through an explicit modelling of intentions and beliefs. This opens up novel ways for understanding phenomena such as procrastination, or impulsive behavior.
Dr. Méder is also fascinated by the puzzle of cooperation. He believes that social power embodied in institutional hierarchies (e.g., the military or the police) is a crucial mechanism for sustaining cooperation among humans. In the experimental work he is involved in – following the behavioral economic approach -, social power is interpreted as punishment power, i.e., the (costly) ability of an individual to decrease the welfare of others. This interpretation seems overly narrow, however, and Dr. Méder is considering other operationalizations of the notion of ‘power’ within social interactions and games.