domingo, 19 de abril de 2009

Teoría de la decisión y políticas de cambio climático

Un artículo muy interesante sobre los elementos psicológicos detrás de las políticas de cambio climático. Estos elementos, los que condicionan nuestras decisiones incluso fuera de la racionalidad, son muy importantes para este tipo de políticas. Como bien dicen,

“Let’s start with the fact that climate change is anthropogenic,” Weber told me one morning in her Columbia office. “More or less, people have agreed on that. That means it’s caused by human behavior. That’s not to say that engineering solutions aren’t important. But if it’s caused by human behavior, then the solution probably also lies in changing human behavior.”

En el artículo básicamente cuentan acerca de las actividades de un grupo de investigación de Columbia, el CRED:

In Weber’s view, CRED was established because the traditional model of using decision research — in which physical scientists doing a study might seek the input of psychologists at the end to help them frame their findings — seemed both backward and ineffective. “By then it’s too late,” Weber said, “because you haven’t explored all the initial options that would have been more beneficial.” In other words, Weber says he believes decision science isn’t only about structuring choices or finding the right frame to get a better outcome; it’s about identifying useful information that can be used for innovative products, policies and scientific studies

Estudian hasta qué punto los marcos para las decisiones influencian las mismas, y nos recuerdan una cosa muy importante:

“We tend to always wonder,” she replied: “What’s that person’s true preference? What do they really want? I think that’s the wrong question, because we want it all.” People have multiple goals. If group involvement or the ordering of choices changes the process of making a particular decision, and in turn the result — whether because it tweaked our notions of risk or because it helped elevate social goals above individual goals and led to better choices for the global commons — that isn’t necessarily a distortion of our true preference. There is no such thing as true preference.

Y para terminar, una aplicación interesante al debate impuestos vs. cap-and-trade:

Baruch Fischhoff, a professor at Carnegie Mellon and a kind of elder statesman among decision scientists, told me he’s fairly convinced a carbon tax could be made superior to cap and trade in terms of human palatability. “I think there’s an attractive version of the carbon tax if somebody thought about its design,” Fischhoff told me, adding that it’s a fundamental principle of decision research that if you’re going to get people to pay a cost, it’s better to do it in a simple manner (like a tax) than a complex one (like in cap and trade)

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