I have received Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1987, as well as Masters degree in mathematics (University of Warsaw, 1978), in sociology (University of Warsaw, 1979) and in statistics (University of Chicago, 1985.) Among academic honors I have received there are two awards from Russell Sage Foundation and two Fulbright awards. I have published in sociology, psychology, economics, political science, philosophy and mathematics, in journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Theory and Decision, Behavioral Science, Rationality and Society, Journal of Mathematical Psychology, and Complexity.

You will only know if you understand something yourself if you can explain it to others.

Course Name Course Title Semester Syllabus
GVPT390 Game Theory Spring 2022 Syllabus
GVPT390 Game Theory Fall 2022 Syllabus
GVPT289D How to Make Better Decisions Spring 2022 Syllabus
GVPT429D Problems in Political Behavior; Theory and Practice of Decision Making Fall 2022 Syllabus
GVPT221 Introduction to Formal Theories of Political Behavior and Politics Spring 2019 Syllabus
GVPT390 Game Theory Spring 2019 Syllabus
GVPT221 Introduction to Formal Theories of Political Behavior and Politics Fall 2018 Syllabus
GVPT390 Game Theory Fall 2018 Syllabus

My research aims to understand, and ultimately to bridge, a micro-macro gap in the social sciences. Standard economic models, for instance, assume away social factors, like norms and values, as constraints to utility maximization. But whether such factors affect individual behavior in equilibrium should be posed as an open question rather than assumed away axiomatically. If economists are correct, then we should be able to prove that equilibria do not involve social behaviors, if they are wrong, however, then the opposite is true. I am developing a general theory of action in which problems like that can be solved. My other project involves a critical assessment of the current state of the social science and a program for constructing a scientific social science.

Primum non nocere(first, do no harm)provide service only in the areas of your expertise.

1140 G Tydings Hall
Department of Government and Politics
pswistak [at] umd.edu
Office Hours
12:00pm-1:00pm, Tue and Th