One key observation that helped launch the field of behavioral economics into stardom is called probability weighting: a human cognitive bias to assign higher probabilities to extreme events than … well, than what? Than what someone else thinks the probabilities should be. Below, I will present a very simple mechanistic explanation, most of all for the iconic probability weighting figure in (Tversky and Kahneman, 1992). The result is a now familiar theme: (behavioral) economics expresses a more or less robust observation in psychological terms, as a persistent cognitive error. Ergodicity economics explains the same observation mechanistically, and as perfectly rational behavior.
Over the years, some words have established themselves at the London Mathematical Laboratory as a useful vocabulary. “Laplacing something” and “Weltschmerz” (p.32) are among these words. Another is “Democratic Domestic Product” or DDP — a humorous term, like all the others, that reflects the first response a student trained in ergodicity economics will have when confronted with Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
When statistical things go wrong, it’s often because someone unknowingly assumed ergodicity where that wasn’t ok. This can have dramatic effects in everyday language: I will use the example of incarceration rates. I will then present a visual illustration to discuss the role of time scales.