Mind, Technology, and Society Talk Series

Simon Huttegger
Associate Professor in Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of California at Irvine

Time/Date: 3-4:30 p.m. Monday, April 13th, 2015

Location: Wawona, SSM 117

Title: “Cheaper than Costly Signals: Experimental Evidence on the Emergence of Signaling”

Abstract: In this talk I report some experiments that investigate how linguistic conventions can emerge in a society without explicit agreement. As a starting point I consider the signaling game introduced by David Lewis. In experimental settings small groups of human subjects can quickly develop conventions of signal meaning in these games. I also consider versions of the game where the theoretical literature indicates that meaning will be less likely to arise—when there are more than two states for actors to transfer meaning about, when some states are more likely than others, or when there is partial conflict of interest between communicators. In many of these cases there is a qualitative match between theoretical predictions based on dynamical models and experimental outcomes.

Bio (taken from http://faculty.sites.uci.edu/shuttegg/): “I grew up in Austria and received my doctorate in philosophy from the University of Salzburg in 2006. After that, I spent two years as a postdoc at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research near Vienna. I moved to Irvine in 2008, where I was assistant professor before 2010.”