David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):139-153 (2003)
Rational choice theory enjoys unprecedented popularity and influence in the behavioral and social sciences, but it generates intractable problems when applied to socially interactive decisions. In individual decisions, instrumental rationality is defined in terms of expected utility maximization. This becomes problematic in interactive decisions, when individuals have only partial control over the outcomes, because expected utility maximization is undefined in the absence of assumptions about how the other participants will behave. Game theory therefore incorporates not only rationality but also common knowledge assumptions, enabling players to anticipate their co-players' strategies. Under these assumptions, disparate anomalies emerge. Instrumental rationality, conventionally interpreted, fails to explain intuitively obvious features of human interaction, yields predictions starkly at variance with experimental findings, and breaks down completely in certain cases. In particular, focal point selection in pure coordination games is inexplicable, though it is easily achieved in practice; the intuitively compelling payoff-dominance principle lacks rational justification; rationality in social dilemmas is self-defeating; a key solution concept for cooperative coalition games is frequently inapplicable; and rational choice in certain sequential games generates contradictions. In experiments, human players behave more cooperatively and receive higher payoffs than strict rationality would permit. Orthodox conceptions of rationality are evidently internally deficient and inadequate for explaining human interaction. Psychological game theory, based on nonstandard assumptions, is required to solve these problems, and some suggestions along these lines have already been put forward. Key Words: backward induction; Centipede game; common knowledge; cooperation; epistemic reasoning; game theory; payoff dominance; pure coordination game; rational choice theory; social dilemma.
|Keywords||backward induction Centipede game common knowledge cooperation epistemic reasoning game theory payoff dominance pure coordination game rational choice theory social dilemma|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Cristina Becchio, Luisa Sartori, Maria Bulgheroni & Umberto Castiello (2008). Both Your Intention and Mine Are Reflected in the Kinematics of My Reach-to-Grasp Movement. Cognition 106 (2):894-912.
Christopher Woodard (2011). Rationality and the Unit of Action. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):261-277.
Sujata Ghosh, Ben Meijering & Rineke Verbrugge (2014). Strategic Reasoning: Building Cognitive Models From Logical Formulas. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 23 (1):1-29.
Paul Weirich (2007). Initiating Coordination. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):790-801.
Boudewijn de Bruin (2009). Overmathematisation in Game Theory: Pitting the Nash Equilibrium Refinement Programme Against the Epistemic Programme. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (3):290-300.
Similar books and articles
Maarten C. W. Janssen (2001). Rationalizing Focal Points. Theory and Decision 50 (2):119-148.
Boudewijn de Bruin (2008). Common Knowledge of Rationality in Extensive Games. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 49 (3):261-280.
Andrew M. Colman (2007). Love is Not Enough: Other-Regarding Preferences Cannot Explain Payoff Dominance in Game Theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (1):22-23.
Richard Schuster (2003). Why Not Go All the Way. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):173-174.
Daniel M. Hausman (2003). Rational Belief and Social Interaction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):163-164.
John Broome & Wlodek Rabinowicz (1999). Backwards Induction in the Centipede Game. Analysis 59 (264):237–242.
Andrew M. Colman & Michael Bacharach (1997). Payoff Dominance and the Stackelberg Heuristic. Theory and Decision 43 (1):1-19.
Martin Bunzl (2002). Evolutionary Games Without Rationality? Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (3):365-378.
Andrew M. Colman (2003). Beyond Rationality: Rigor Without Mortis in Game Theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):180-192.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads36 ( #98,365 of 1,780,746 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #290,888 of 1,780,746 )
How can I increase my downloads?