The human agent in behavioural finance: a Searlean perspective

Journal of Economic Methodology 9 (1):31-52 (2002)
Abstract
According to John Searle's theory of human ontology, intentional mental states such as beliefs and wants rely on non-intentional, Background, dispositions to produce rational behaviour. The distinction between intentional and non-intentional states is used as the basis on which to understand the various conceptions of human agency to be found in behavioural finance. The agent of behavioural finance is characterized in terms of three sets of psychological traits: prospect theory, heuristics and mental accounting. These are examined from a Searlean perspective and shown to rely on the interplay between various reflected upon and non-reflected upon elements, in keeping with the Searlean human ontology previously considered. A number of implications are drawn from these findings.
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