Economics and Philosophy 35 (3):461-478 (2019)

Economists and philosophers disagree about the concept of choice used in economics. Some behavioural economists argue that economic models of choice will improve as they become more and more psychologically realistic. Don Ross argues that this argument fails because its hidden assumption – that the economic concept of choice is the same as the psychological counterpart – is false. Ross conjectures that the economic concept of choice concerns a population-scale pattern of behavioural changes in response to incentives. We conduct a survey experiment to test two predictions that Ross’s conjecture generates. The statistical analysis of our data confirms our predictions, although with some qualifications. In interpreting our results, we distinguish two versions of commonsensible realism, strong and weak, and propose the weak one as a plausible explanation of our results. Weak commonsensible realism also produces further testable hypotheses. Some methodological implications of our study are discussed.
Keywords experimental philosophy of science  commonsensible realism  conceptual variance  choice concept  economics and psychology
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DOI 10.1017/s0266267118000500
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References found in this work BETA

What Preferences Really Are.Erik Angner - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):660-681.
Problems with Realism in Economics: Daniel M. Hausman.Daniel M. Hausman - 1998 - Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):185-213.
Experimental Philosophy of Science.Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (3):507–521.

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