PhD defence of Tong Wang on Thursday 26 May 2016

On Thursday 26 May 2016 Tong Wang will defend her PhD thesis entitled 'The Rich Domain of Decision Making Explored: The Non-triviality of the Choosing Process'. Supervisors are Professor Han Bleichrodt and Professor Peter Wakker (both from Erasmus School of Economics). Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Professor Aurelien Baillon, Professor Robert Dur (both from Erasmus School of Economics), and Professor Martijn van den Assem (VU University Amsterdam).

About Tong Wang

Tong V. Wang (1988) obtained double BSc degrees in 2010 on Financial Engineering and Applied Mathematics at the Renmin University of China, and an MPhil degree (cum laude) on Economics in 2012 at Tinbergen Institute and VU University Amsterdam. In 2012, she joined the Behavioural Economics Group at Erasmus University Rotterdam as a PhD candidate. This thesis reflects what she worked on during these three years to understand human decision making better. It also raises even more questions and serves as a starting point for her later research. Since November 2015, she is a research fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, focusing on behavioural “anomalies” and thinking about rationality.

Abstract of 'The Rich Domain of Decision Making Explored: The Non-triviality of the Choosing Process'

Life is full of tradeoffs. How are we making decisions and how should we do it? This dissertation explored the rich domain of decision making. Chapter 2 uses data analysis on proprietary big datasets to empirically investigate what numbers players choose in lotteries, situations where all the options are constructed equivalently. Chapter 3 elicits subjects’ attitudes towards ambiguity in a laboratory experiment and investigates the effects of different sources of ambiguity. Chapter 4 reports the results of a field experiment, initially designed to increase students’ participation rates in teaching evaluations online by utilizing verbal nudges. Chapter 5 discusses decision frameworks other than Savage’s (1954) theoretically.

More information

Tong Wang conducted her doctoral research at the Tinbergen Institute. The Tinbergen Institute is a joint research institute of Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Amsterdam and Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of VU University Amsterdam.

For more information about this ceremony, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communication Officer of the Erasmus School of Economics phone +31 10 408 1762 or by e-mail: