Cornell University

Behavioral Economics Workshop: Peter Schwardmann

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 11:15am to 12:45pm

Sage Hall, 141
Johnson Graduate School-Management, 106 Sage Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-6201, USA

Peter Schwardmann, Carnegie Mellon University

Anticipatory Anxiety and Wishful Thinking (joint w/Jan B. Engelmann, Maël Lebreton, Nahuel Salem-Gracia & Joël van der Weele)

Abstract: We test the hypothesis that anxiety about adverse future outcomes leads to wishful thinking. Across four experiments (N=1,116), participants perform pattern recognition tasks in which some patterns may result in an electric shock or a monetary loss. Participants engage in significant wishful thinking, as they are less likely to correctly identify patterns that may lead to a shock or loss. Wishful thinking increases with greater ambiguity of the visual evidence and is only disciplined by higher accuracy incentives when accuracy depends on participants' cognitive effort. Wishful thinking is heterogeneous across and stable within individuals.


We strongly encourage in-person attendance in 141 Sage Hall. However, we recognize that there will be Covid-related reasons why people sometimes cannot attend in-person, and thus a remote attendance option will also be available.

If you are interested in participating remotely in this workshop, please register at:

Note: Registration is limited to the Cornell community

Note: If you have previously registered for the Fall 2022 Behavioral Economics Workshop, there is no need to re-register—you will use the same Behavioral Economics Workshop link for the entire semester.

Note: The Behavioral Economics Workshop and the BEDR Workshop use separate links; hence, you still must register for the Behavioral Economics Workshop even if you have already registered for the BEDR Workshop.

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Event Type

Seminar, Class/ Workshop




economics, EconSeminar, EconBehave, EconBEDR

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Amy Moesch

Contact Phone



Peter Schwardmann

Speaker Affiliation

Carnegie Mellon University

Open To

Cornell Economics Community (List Serve Members)