Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Robin Hogarth and I am Emeritus Professor in the Department of Economics and Business at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain where I have been since about 2000. Before that I was at the University of Chicago for some 20 years. Two questions have driven my research agenda over my career: (1) How do people make decisions? (2) How can you help people make better decisions? My research is thus very much mainstream judgment and decision making. My work involves three activities: (1) I teach in our MSc program and also work with PhD students, (2) I work on my own research projects, and (3) I help run the PhD program in my department. Officially I am “emeritus” but I still seem to spend a lot of time at the office.
What do you consider your most important research tool(s) on your computer?
The most important research tool on my computer is simply the access it provides to the internet and email. This allows me to be in easy contact with many people all over the world, to follow developments in the literature, and so on. I don’t think that young researchers today (who have effectively always known the internet) realize just how valuable this is. Of course, I also appreciate the word processing capacity of the desktop computer as well as the ability to handle and analyze datasets without having to do battle with mainframes.
What do you consider your most important research tool(s) outside of your computer?
Outside of my computer, my most valuable research “tool” is my network of contacts with colleagues (both at my university and elsewhere), students, and former students. I feel that I am part of a large “discussion” and this constantly informs and animates my work.
What is your favorite tip for getting writing done?
I don’t really have tips for writing. I quite enjoy doing it and I always know that it will take me many re-writes to say precisely what I want and how I want. (In this, the computer is really useful). I keep firmly in mind some principles of good writing that I learned when I was a PhD student many years ago at the University of Chicago. I am more effective at writing in the mornings (my best time) and I am incapable of writing when there are distracting noises. (I find it difficult, for example, to write with music in the background).
Robin’s favorite book:
Hogart, R.M. (2001). Educating Intuition. University of Chicago Press.