More attention has been devoted to providing evolutionary scenarios accounting for the development of beliefs, or belief-like states, than for desires or preferences. Here I articulate and defend an evolutionary rationale for the development of psychologically real preference states. Preferences token or represent the expected values of discriminated states, available actions, or action-state pairings. The argument is an application the ‘environmental complexity thesis’ found in Godfrey-Smith and Sterelny, although my conclusions differ from Sterelny’s. I argue that tokening expected (...) utilities can, under specified general conditions, be a powerful design solution to the problem of allocating the capacities of an agent in an efficient way. Preferences are for efficient action selection, and are a ‘fuel for success’ in the sense urged by Godfrey-Smith for true beliefs. They will tend to be favoured by selection when environments are complex in ways that matter to an organism, and when organisms have rich behavioural repertoires with heterogenous returns and costs. The rationale suggested here is conditional, especially on contingencies in what design options are available to selection and on trade-offs associated with the costs of generating and processing representations of value. The unqualified efficiency rationale for preferences suggests that organisms should represent expected utilities in a comprehensive and consistent way, but none of them do. In the final stages of the paper I consider some of the ways in which design trade-offs compromise the implementation of preferences in organisms that have them. (shrink)
Adaptive preference formation is the unconscious altering of our preferences in light of the options we have available. Jon Elster has argued that this is bad because it undermines our autonomy. I agree, but think that Elster's explanation of why is lacking. So, I draw on a richer account of autonomy to give the following answer. Preferences formed through adaptation are characterized by covert influence (that is, explanations of which an agent herself is necessarily unaware), and covert influence (...) undermines our autonomy because it undermines the extent to which an agent's preferences are ones that she has decided upon for herself. This answer fills the lacuna in Elster's argument. It also allows us to draw a principled distinction between adaptive preference formation and the closely related phenomenon of character planning. (shrink)
An adaptive preference is a preference that is regimented in response to an agent’s set of feasible options. The fabled fox in the sour grapes story undergoes an adaptive preference change. I consider adaptive preferences more broadly, to include adaptive preference formation as well. I argue that many adaptive preferences that other philosophers have cast out as irrational sour-grapes-like preferences are actually fully rational preferences worthy of pursuit. I offer a means of distinguishing rational and worthy (...) adaptive preferences from irrational and unworthy ones. The distinction is based on the agent’s own appraisal of the adaptive preference. (shrink)
Rational choice theory analyzes how an agent can rationally act, given his or her preferences, but says little about where those preferences come from. Preferences are usually assumed to be fixed and exogenously given. Building on related work on reasons and rational choice, we describe a framework for conceptualizing preference formation and preference change. In our model, an agent's preferences are based on certain "motivationally salient" properties of the alternatives over which the preferences are held. (...)Preferences may change as new properties of the alternatives become salient or previously salient properties cease to be salient. Our approach captures endogenous preferences in various contexts and helps to illuminate the distinction between formal and substantive concepts of rationality, as well as the role of perception in rational choice. (shrink)
Introduction: Previous studies have measured individuals’ willingness to share personal information stored in an electronic health record (EHR) with healthcare providers. But none have measured preferences when patients’ choices determine access by healthcare providers. -/- Methods: Patients were given the ability to control the access of doctors, nurses or other staff in a primary care clinic to personal information stored in an EHR. Patients could restrict access to all personal data or to specific types of sensitive information, and could (...) restrict access for a specific time period. Patients also completed a survey regarding their understanding and opinions regarding the process. -/- Results: Of 139 eligible patients who were approached, 105 (75.5%) were enrolled and preferences were collected from 105 of them (100%). Sixty patients (57%) did not restrict access by any providers. Of the 45 patients (43%) who chose to limit the access of at least 1 provider, 36 restricted access only to all personal information in the EHR, while 9 restricted access of some providers to a subset of the their personal information. Thirty-four (32.3%) patients blocked access to all personal information by all doctors, nurses, and/or other staff; 26 (24.8%) blocked access by all doctors and/or nurses, and 5 (4.8%) denied access to alldoctors, nurses, and staff. -/- Conclusions: A significant minority of patients chose to restrict access by their primary care providers to personal information contained in an EHR, and few chose to restrict access to specific types of information. More research is needed to identify patient goals and understanding when facing decisions of this sort, and to identify the impact of educating patients regarding information contained in the EHR and its use in clinical care. (shrink)
David Gauthier suggested that all genuine moral problems are Prisoners Dilemmas (PDs), and that the morally and rationally required solution to a PD is to co-operate. I say there are four other forms of moral problem, each a different way of agents failing to be in PDs because of the agents’ preferences. This occurs when agents have preferences that are malevolent, self-enslaving, stingy, or bullying. I then analyze preferences as reasons for action, claiming that this means they (...) must not target the impossible, they must be able to be acted on in the circumstances, their targets must be attainable, and having the preferences must make their targets more likely. For groups of agents to have a distribution of preferences, their preferences must jointly have those four features, this imposing a kind of universalizability requirement on possible preferences. I then claim that, if all agents began with preferences satisfying these requirements, their preferences would not be of the morally problematic sort (on pain, variously, of circularity or contradiction in the specification of their targets). Instead, they would be either morally innocent preferences, or ones which put the agents in PDs. And it would then be instrumentally rational for the agents to prefer mutual co-operation. Thus if all agents initially had rationally permissible preferences and made rational choices of actions and preferences thereafter, they would never acquire immoral preferences, and so never be rationally moved to immoral actions. Further, the states of affairs such agents would be moved to bring about would be compatible with what Rawls’ agents would chose behind a veil of ignorance. Morality therefore reduces to rationality; necessarily, the actions categorically required by morality are also categorically required by rationality. (shrink)
Prospect Theory (PT) is widely regarded as the most promising descriptive model for decision making under uncertainty. Various tests have corroborated the validity of the characteristic fourfold pattern of risk attitudes implied by the combination of probability weighting and value transformation. But is it also safe to assume stable PT preferences at the individual level? This is not only an empirical but also a conceptual question. Measuring the stability of preferences in a multi-parameter decision model such as PT (...) is far more complex than evaluating single-parameter models such as Expected Utility Theory under the assumption of constant relative risk aversion. There exist considerable interdependencies among parameters such that allegedly diverging parameter combinations could in fact produce very similar preference structures. In this paper, we provide a theoretic framework for measuring the (temporal) stability of PT parameters. To illustrate our methodology, we further apply our approach to 86 subjects for whom we elicit PT parameters twice, with a time lag of 1 month. While documenting remarkable stability of parameter estimates at the aggregate level, we find that a third of the subjects show significant instability across sessions. (shrink)
Citizens of liberal, affluent societies are regularly encouraged to support reforms meant to improve conditions for badly-off people in the developing world. Our economic and political support is solicited for causes such as: banning child labor, implementing universal primary education, closing down sweatshops and brothels, etc. But what if the relevant populations or individuals in the developing world do not support these particular reforms or aid programs? What if they would strongly prefer other reforms and programs, or would rank the (...) various benefits that might be offered differently than seems reasonable to the Western, liberal supporters of these campaigns and organizations? What is the proper liberal response here? I argue that the proper liberal response is to support those programs and reforms that the global poor most value. The bulk of the paper is devoted to arguing against the popular liberal argument which states that we can safely disregard the preferences of the oppressed when they seem very unreasonable because these individuals suffer from “adaptive preferences.” This typically is taken to mean that their preferences are “not their own” in an important sense. I put forward various different proposals for why adaptive preferences can be safely dismissed, but ultimately argue that they are not persuasive. And if it is no longer legitimate to appeal to adaptive preferences as a basis for disregarding what oppressed people want, then I argue that to do so is straightforward paternalism, and so is unjustifiable in all but the most extreme cases. Finally, I argue for the following concrete recommendations: Given that resources are not infinite, we should (1) Support programs that give oppressed people increased access to information, such as access to technology, (2) support those reforms and aid programs that the oppressed themselves regard as most important, with special emphasis on those opportunities for education that they deem valuable, and (3) refrain from supporting coercive policies intended to thwart adaptive preferences. (shrink)
An important objection to preference-satisfaction theories of well-being is that they cannot make sense of interpersonal comparisons. A tradition dating back to Harsanyi :434, 1953) attempts to solve this problem by appeal to people’s so-called extended preferences. This paper presents a new problem for the extended preferences program, related to Arrow’s celebrated impossibility theorem. We consider three ways in which the extended-preference theorist might avoid this problem, and recommend that she pursue one: developing aggregation rules that violate Arrow’s (...) Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives condition. (shrink)
This paper wishes to problematize the foundations of production governance and offer an analytical perspective on the interrelation between agents’ preferences, strategic choice, and the public sphere . The value is in the idea of preferences being social in nature and in the application both to the internal stakeholders of the organisation and its impacts on people outside. Using the concept of ‘strategic failure’ we suggest that social preferences reflected in deliberative social praxis can reduce false beliefs (...) and increase individual wellbeing. From this approach, the paper offers a taxonomy of production organisations, based on social preferences about two variables: the governance form other strategic decisions that characterize the management of a company at a more operational level, once its fundamental legal form has been chosen. Each dimension is then categorised alongside two basic preferences: towards inclusion or exclusion of ‘publics’ that have no substantial access to decision power about these variables. Our framework explains governance heterogeneity by contrasting exclusive and inclusive social preferences in cooperatives, social enterprises, as well as traditional corporations. A discussion of the evolution of social preferences and organizational forms is addressed through examples and regional experiences. (shrink)
How do senior business executives rank their preferences for various ethical principles? And how strongly do the executives believe in these principles? Also, how do these preference rankings relate to the way the executives see the future (wherein business decisions play out)? Research on these questions may provide us with an appreciation of the complexities of ethical behavior in management beyond the traditional issues concerning ethical decision-making in business. Based on a survey of 585 vice presidents of U.S. businesses (...) it was found that: (1) there is a distinct set of principles of ethical conduct that is considered favorable as opposed to another set considered unfavorable among a comprehensive list of 14 ethical principles; (2) the executives believed overwhelmingly that their own individual ethical preferences are better than those of other executives; (3) the strength of their preferences for ethical principles is associated with whether the executives are relatively near-future oriented or more distant-future oriented; and (4), there are very few significant differences in terms of gender, age, education level, private/public education, prestigious/other schools, business/non-business academic backgrounds, and length of job experience. Implications of these findings are discussed. (shrink)
The literature on human mate preferences is vast but most data come from studies on college students in complex societies, who represent a thin slice of cultural variation in an evolutionarily novel environment. Here, I present data on the mate preferences of men and women in a society of hunter-gatherers, the Hadza of Tanzania. Hadza men value fertility in a mate more than women do, and women value intelligence more than men do. Women place great importance on men’s (...) foraging, and both sexes rate character as important. Unlike college students, Hadza men place considerable importance on women being hard-working, and Hadza women cite looks about as often as men do. (shrink)
For nearly 70 years, studies have shown large sex differences in human mate selection preferences. However, most of the studies were restricted to a limited set of mate selection criteria and to college students, and neglecting relationship status. In this study, 21,245 heterosexual participants between 18 and 65 years of age (mean age 41) who at the time were not involved in a close relationship rated the importance of 82 mate selection criteria adapted from previous studies, reported age ranges (...) for the oldest and youngest partner that they would find acceptable, and responded to 10 yes/no questions about a potential marriage partner. For nearly all mate selection criteria, women were found to be the more demanding sex, although men placed consistently more value on the physical attractiveness of a potential partner than women. Also, the effects of the participants’ age and level of education were nearly negligible. These results demonstrate the robustness of sex differences in mate selection criteria across a substantial age range. (shrink)
People can reason about the preferences of other agents, and predict their behavior based on these preferences. Surprisingly, the psychology of reasoning has long neglected this fact, and focused instead on disinterested inferences, of which preferences are neither an input nor an output. This exclusive focus is untenable, though, as there is mounting evidence that reasoners take into account the preferences of others, at the expense of logic when logic and preferences point to different conclusions. (...) This article summarizes the most recent account of how reasoners predict the behavior and attitude of other agents based on conditional rules describing actions and their consequences, and reports new experimental data about which assumptions reasoners retract when their predictions based on preferences turn out to be false. (shrink)
Chrisoula Andreou says procrastination qua imprudent delay is modeled by Warren Quinn’s self-torturer, who supposedly has intransitive preferences that rank each indulgence in something that delays his global goals over working toward those goals and who finds it vague where best to stop indulging. His pair-wise choices to indulge result in his failing the goals, which he then regrets. This chapter argues, contra the money-pump argument, that it is not irrational to have or choose from intransitive preferences; so (...) the agent’s delays are not imprudent, not instances of procrastination. Moreover, the self-torturer case is intelligible only if there is no vagueness and if the agent’s preferences are transitive. But then he would delay only from ordinary weakness of will. And when it is vague where best to stop indulging, rational agents would use symmetry-breaking techniques; so, again, any procrastination would be explained by standard weakness of will, not vagueness. (shrink)
This paper deals with the evidential value of neuroeconomic experiments for the triangulation of economically relevant phenomena. We examine the case of social preferences, which involves bringing together evidence from behavioural experiments, neuroeconomic experiments, and observational studies from other social sciences. We present an account of triangulation and identify the conditions under which neuroeconomic evidence is diverse in the way required for successful triangulation. We also show that the successful triangulation of phenomena does not necessarily afford additional confirmation to (...) general theories about those phenomena. (shrink)
This paper draws a distinction between two closely related conceptions of 'preference' that is of great significance relative to a set of interrelated debates in rational choice theory. The distinction is particularly illuminating in relation to the idea that there is a rational defect inherent in individuals with intransitive preferences and, relatedly, in democratic collectives. I use the distinction to show that things are more complicated than they seem.
Among the possible solutions to the paradoxes of collective preferences, single-peakedness is significant because it has been associated to a suggestive conceptual interpretation: a single-peaked preference profile entails that, although individuals may disagree on which option is the best, they conceptualize the choice along a shared unique dimension, i.e. they agree on the rationale of the collective decision. In this article, we discuss the relationship between the structural property of singlepeakedness and its suggested interpretation as uni-dimensionality of a social (...) choice. In particular, we offer a formalization of the relationship between single-peakedness and its conceptual counterpart, we discuss their logical relations, and we question whether single-peakedness provides a rationale for collective choices. (shrink)
When assessing the cost effectiveness of health care programmes, health economists typically presume that distant events should be given less weight than present events. This article examines the moral reasonableness of arguments advanced for positive discounting in cost-effectiveness analysis both from an intergenerational and an intrapersonal perspective and assesses if arguments are equally applicable to health and monetary outcomes. The article concludes that behavioral effects related to time preferences give little or no reason for why society at large should (...) favour the present over the future when making intergenerational choices regarding health. The strongest argument for discounting stems from the combined argument of diminishing marginal utility in the presence of growth. However, this hinges on the assumption of actual growth in the relevant good. Moreover, current modern democracy may be insufficiently sensitive to the concerns of future generations. The second part of the article categorises preference failures (which justify paternalistic responses) into two distinct groups, myopic and acratic. The existence of these types of preference failures makes elicited time preferences of little normative relevance when making decisions regarding the social discount rate, even in an intrapersonal context. As with intergenerational discounting, the combined arguments of growth and diminishing marginal utility offer the strongest arguments for discounting in the intrapersonal context. However, there is no prima facie reason to assume that this argument should apply equally to health and monetary values. To be sure, selecting an approach towards discounting health is a complex matter. However, the life-or-death implications of any approach require that the discussion not be downplayed to merely a technical matter for economists to settle. (shrink)
Ethicists, regulators and researchers have struggled with the question of whether incidental findings in genomics studies should be disclosed to participants. In the ethical debate, a general consensus is that disclosed information should benefit participants. However, there is no agreement that genetic information will benefit participants, rather it may cause problems such as anxiety. One could get past this disagreement about disclosure of incidental findings by letting participants express their preferences in the consent form. We argue that this freedom (...) of choice is problematic. In transferring the decision to participants, it is assumed that participants will understand what they decide about and that they will express what they truly want. However, psychological findings about people's reaction to probabilities and risk have been shown to involve both cognitive and emotional challenges. People change their attitude to risk depending on what is at stake. Their mood affects judgments and choices, and they over- and underestimate probabilities depending on whether they are low or high. Moreover, different framing of the options can steer people to a specific choice. Although it seems attractive to let participants express their preferences to incidental findings in the consent form, it is uncertain if this choice enables people to express what they truly prefer. In order to better understand the participants' preferences, we argue that future empirical work needs to confront the participant with the complexity of the uncertainty and the trade-offs that are connected with the uncertain predictive value of genetic risk information. (shrink)
This paper focuses on a specific challenge for welfarist theories of intergenerational justice. Subjective welfarism permits and even requires that a generation, G1, inculcates cheap preferences in the next generation, G2. This would allow G1 to deplete resources instead of saving them, which seems to contradict the ideal of sustainability. The aim of the paper is to show that, even if subjective welfarism requires the cultivation of cheap preferences among future generations, it can accommodate two major objections to (...) cheap preferences engineering, the Autonomy Objection and the Fairness Objection. The paper argues that teaching autonomy-related abilities is compatible with cheap preferences engineering insofar as autonomy is understood as an end-state and not as a precondition. Furthermore, teaching autonomy-related abilities could even be required in order to improve G2’s prospects for well-being. However, since being autonomous renders G2 able to revise their initially cheap preferences, G1 should also save enough resources to enable members of G2 to do so. Therefore, cultivating cheap preferences among G2 does not allow G1 to deplete the available resources. (shrink)
Experimental evidence suggests that individual consumption has not only personal value but also enters the social part of the utility. Existing models of social preferences make ad hoc parametric assumptions about the nature of this duality. This creates a problem of experimental identification of preferences since without such assumptions it is impossible to distinguish whether consumption or social concerns are driving the behavior. Given observed choice, the Axiomatic model of preferences in this article makes it possible to (...) unambiguously determine personal and social utility without any assumptions about their relationship. The unique separation can be achieved only if the individual choices in different subgroups of other people are available. Preferences over consumption and status are used as an example to demonstrate how the utility is constructed. The model shows what kind of information about choice is needed to empirically determine the nature of social preferences without making restrictive assumptions. This can help to estimate whether personal consumption or social value is more important in economic decisions. (shrink)
Are risk preferences stable over time? To address this question we elicit risk preferences from the same pool of subjects at two different moments in time. To interpret the results, we use a Fechner stochastic choice model in which the revealed preference of individuals is governed by some underlying preference, together with a random error. We take cumulative prospect theory as the underlying preference model (Kahneman and Tversky, Econometrica 47:263–292, 1979; Tversky and Kahneman, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty (...) 5:297–323, 1992). We observe that the aggregate pattern of preferences is very similar in both sessions, and it matches the results reported in the literature. Most subjects are risk averse for gains, and risk seeking for losses. However, the subjects that jointly agree with the reflection effect of prospect theory are around 50%. The percentage of individuals that change their responses across sessions is quite high, 63%. Estimating the stochastic choice model we find that 72% of the subjects have an underlying preference which agrees with the reflection effect of prospect theory. The remaining 28% are mainly classified as risk averse for both gains and losses. The results reinforce the empirical validity of the reflection effect. Deviations from the reflection effect can be attributed to noise, as well as to the existence of a fraction of risk averse subjects. (shrink)
This paper is a partial review of the literature on ‘social preferences'. There are empirical findings that convincingly demonstrate the existence of social preferences, but there are also studies that indicate their fragility. So how robust are social preferences, and how exactly are they context dependent? One of the most promising insights from the literature, in my view, is an equilibrium explanation of mutually referring conditional social preferences and expectations. I use this concept of equilibrium, summarized (...) by means of a figure, to discuss a range of empirical studies. Where appropriate, I also briefly discuss a couple of insights from the (mostly parallel) evolutionary literature about cooperation. A concrete case of the Orma in Kenya will be used as a motivating example in the beginning. (shrink)
The rationalization of context-based choice is usually based on the assumption that preferences are context-dependent. In this paper, we show that context-based choice can be due to the characteristics of the choice procedure applied by the individual and not to the dependence of preferences (stochastic or deterministic) on the context. Our arguments are illustrated focusing on the much-studied dominated-alternative effects.
We study a situation where a decision maker relies on the report of a self-interested and informed expert prior to decide whether to undertake a certain project. An important feature in this interaction is that, depending on the collected information, the two agents have potentially conflicting preferences. Information contained in the report is partially verifiable in the sense that the expert can suppress favorable information sustaining the project but he cannot exaggerate it. Our results show that this setting favors (...) the agent which is the less eager to undertake the project in that he always succeeds to induce his most preferred action. (shrink)
_ Source: _Page Count 24 Moral theories which include a preference-fulfillment aspect should not restrict their concern to some subset of people’s preferences such as “now-for-now” preferences. Instead, preferences with all contents—e.g. ones which are external, diachronic, or even modal—should be taken into account. I offer a conceptualization of preferences and preference fulfillment which allows us to understand odd species of preferences, and I give a series of examples showing what it would mean to fulfill (...) such preferences and why we ought to do so. (shrink)
Patients’ trust in their physicians improves their health outcomes because of better compliance, more disclosure, stronger placebo effect, and more physicians’ trustworthy behaviors. Patients’ autonomy may also impact on health outcomes and is increasingly being emphasized in health care. However, despite the critical role of trust and autonomy, patients that naïvely trust their physicians may become overly dependent and lack the motivation to participate in medical care. In this article, we argue that increased trust does not necessarily imply decreased autonomy. (...) Furthermore, patients with high levels of trust and autonomy preferences are most likely to have the best health outcomes. We propose a framework for understanding simultaneous trust and autonomy preferences and for recognizing their interactive effects on health outcomes in the dynamic medical encounter. This framework argues that policy makers and health care providers should make efforts to foster not only patients’ trust but also their preferences for autonomy and thus gain the best position for achieving health-related goals. (shrink)
A second-order preference is a preference over preferences. This paper addresses the role that second-order preferences play in a theory of instrumental rationality. I argue that second-order preferences have no role to play in the prescription or evaluation of actions aimed at ordinary ends. Instead, second-order preferences are relevant to prescribing or evaluating actions only insofar as those actions have a role in changing or maintaining first-order preferences. I establish these claims by examining and rejecting (...) the view that second-order preferences trump first-order preferences. I also examine and reject the view that second-order preferences give additional normative force to an agent’s preferred first-order preferences. I conclude by arguing that second-order preferences should be integrated into an agent’s object-level preference ordering, and by explaining how best to make sense of this integration. (shrink)
The article shows that a Paretian social welfare function can be history independent and time consistent only if a stringent set of conditions is verified. Individual utilities must be additive. The social welfare function must be a linear combination of these utilities. Social preferences are stationary only if, in addition, all individuals have the same constant discount rate. The results are implemented in two frameworks: deterministic dynamic choice and dynamic choice under uncertainty. The applications highlight that the conditions are (...) unlikely to be met by individual preferences, and that they severely restrict social preferences. (shrink)
Adaptive preference formation is the unconscious altering of our preferences in light of the options we have available. Jon Elster has argued that this is bad because it undermines our autonomy. I agree, but think that Elster’s explanation of why is lacking. So, I draw on a richer account of autonomy to give the following answer. Preferences formed through adaptation are characterised by covert influence (that is, explanations of which an agent herself is necessarily unaware), and covert influence (...) undermines our autonomy because it undermines the extent to which an agent’s preferences are ones that she has decided upon for herself. This answer fills the lacuna in Elster’s argument. It also allows us to draw a principled distinction between adaptive preference formation and the closely related – but potentially autonomy-enhancing – phenomenon of character planning. (shrink)
This paper investigates behavior in finitely repeated simultaneous and sequential-move prisoner’s dilemma games when there is one-sided incomplete information and signaling about players’ concerns for fairness, specifically, their preferences regarding “inequity aversion.” In this environment, we show that only a pooling equilibrium can be sustained, in which a player type who is unconcerned about fairness initially cooperates in order to disguise himself as a player type who is concerned about fairness. This disguising strategy induces the uninformed player to cooperate (...) in all periods of the repeated game, including the final period, at which point the player type who is unconcerned about fairness takes the opportunity to defect, i.e., he “backstabs” the uninformed player. Despite such last-minute defection, our results show that the introduction of incomplete information can actually result in a Pareto improvement under certain conditions. We connect the predictions of this “backstabbing” equilibrium with the frequently observed decline in cooperative behavior in the final period of finitely repeated experimental games. (shrink)
In this essay, I will use a minimalist standard of decision-making capacity (DMC) to ascertain two cases in the medical ethics literature: the 1978 case of Mary C. Northern and a more recent case involving a paranoid war veteran (call him Jack). In both cases the patients refuse medical treatment out of denial that they are genuinely ill. I believe these cases illustrate two matters: (1) the need of holding oneself to a minimal DMC standard so as to make as (...) salient as possible the patient's own reasons for sometimes unusual treatment denials; (2) the need for clinicians and other relevant parties to exercise great sensitivity toward engaging, on the patient's own terms, idiosyncratic treatment refusals through regard for what I will call the patient’s conditional preferences. These are particularly relevant matters when a patient’s DMC is questionable yet he/she registers what may well be his/her settled preferences. (shrink)
Examined the role of philosophical beliefs in psychotherapy approach preference. It was hypothesized that trainees would prefer approaches that most closely correspond to their personal philosophical beliefs. 59 students were given audiotaped presentations. Three dimensions of the Ss' philosophical commitments were examined in relation to their relative preferences for 3 therapy approaches: rationalist, constructivist and behavioral. Results show that Ss tended to prefer a specific approach that most corresponded to their own ontological, epistemological and causal commitments. This suggests a (...) role for philosophical beliefs in therapists' preferences for different theoretical orientations. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Si l’apport d’Amartya Sen à la critique de la rationalité économique est reconnu, la relation entre sa contribution formelle et le raisonnement informel qu’elle sous-tend est parfois mal comprise. Dans cet article, nous proposons une analyse de la propre interprétation que donne Sen de ses travaux formels sur l’incomplétude des préférences. Cette réflexion sur les propriétés mathématiques de la relation de préférence en théorie du choix social met en évidence la volonté de Sen d’enrichir la représentation formelle des activités humaines (...) d’évaluation, de classement et de choix. En un sens, cela peut être compris comme une simple amélioration de cette représentation ; mais l’interprétation de l’incomplétude comme « incomplétude affirmée » montre que Sen vise également à enrichir la structure du cadre conceptuel welfariste afin de détacher ce dernier de l’interprétation utilitariste qui lui est généralement associée. (shrink)
This article revisits the standard results of demand theory when the preference relation is a continuous preorder that admits an equicontinuous multi-utility representation. We study the consumer problem as the constrained maximization of a continuous vector-valued utility mapping, and show how to rederive those results. In particular, we provide a link between the literature on vector optimization and the analysis of the consumer problem under incomplete preferences.
This paper examines a special kind of social preference, namely a preference to do one's part in a mixed-motive setting because the other party expects one to do so. I understand this expectation-based preference as a basic reactive attitude. Given this, and the fact that expectations in these circumstances are likely to be based on other people's preferences, I argue that in cooperation a special kind of equilibrium ensues, which I call a loop, with people's preferences and expectations (...) mutually cross-referring. As with a Lewis-norm, the loop can get started in a variety of ways. It is self-sustaining in the sense that people with social preferences have sufficient reason not to deviate.Export citation Request permission. (shrink)
This paper explores lexicographically additive representations of multi-attribute preferences on finite sets. Lexicographic additivity combines a lexicographic feature with local value tradeoffs. Tradeoff structures are governed by either transitive or nontransitive additive conjoint measurement. Alternatives are locally traded off when they are close enough within threshold associated with a dominant subset of attributes.
Although robust sex differences are abundant in men and women’s mating psychology, there is a considerable degree of overlap between the two as well. In an effort to understand where and when this overlap exists, the current study provides an exploration of within-sex variation in women’s mate preferences. We hypothesized that women’s intelligence, given an environment where women can use that intelligence to attain educational and career opportunities, would be: (1) positively related to their willingness to engage in short-term (...) sexual relationships, (2) negatively related to their desire for qualities in a partner that indicated wealth and status, and (3) negatively related to their endorsement of traditional gender roles in romantic relationships. These predictions were supported. Results suggest that intelligence may be one important individual difference influencing women’s mate preferences. (shrink)
Adults with dysphagia experience difficulties swallowing food and fluids with potentially harmful health and psychosocial consequences. Speech pathologists who manage patients with dysphagia are frequently required to address ethical issues when patients' food culture and/ or preferences are inconsistent with recommended diets. These issues incorporate complex links between food, identity and social participation. A composite case has been developed to reflect ethical issues identified by practising speech pathologists for the purposes of illustrating ethical concerns in dysphagia management. The case (...) examines a speech pathologist's role in supporting patient autonomy when patients and carers express different goals and values. The case presents a 68-year-old man of Australian/Italian heritage with severe swallowing impairment and strong values attached to food preferences. The case is examined through application of the dysphagia algorithm, a tool for shared decision-making when patients refuse dietary modifications. Case analysis revealed the benefits and challenges of shared decision-making processes in dysphagia management. Four health professional skills and attributes were identified as synonymous with shared decision making: communication, imagination, courage and reflection. (shrink)
This paper explores the notion that economic preferences were shaped by the joint action of genetic and cultural evolution. We review the evidence that preferences are partly innate, the output of genetic forces, and partly plastic, the output of cultural forces. A model of how genes and culture might jointly shape preferences is sketched.
We attempt to quantify and qualify the preferences of consumers for beef with a number of environmental and food quality attributes. Our goal is to evaluate the viability of a proposed food co-operative based in the Wood River watershed of southern Saskatchewan, Canada. The food co-operative was designed to provide a price premium to producers who adopted alternative management practices. In addition, the study evaluated the acceptance of a proposed food co-operative by consumer that had environmental interests as compared (...) to the general population. Conjoint analysis was used to determine the trade-off and relative value of beef with the following production and purchasing characteristics: (a) use of hormones, antibiotics and vaccination in production; (b) method of obtaining the beef including monthly or yearly purchase contracts or a local market; (c) price relative to beef purchased from the local grocery store; and (d) impact on the river ecosystem. Consumers from environmental groups had stronger environmental and food quality preferences than individuals from the general population. However, consumers from both groups expressed a willingness to pay higher prices for food that had these attributes. It was uncertain whether the magnitude of the premium, in combination with a desire not to enter a long-term purchasing commitment, would be large enough to encourage farmers to adopt the alternative management. (shrink)
Adaptive preferences are preferences formed in response to circumstances and opportunities – paradigmatically, they occur when we scale back our desires so they accord with what is probable or at least possible. While few commentators are willing to wholly reject the normative significance of such preferences, adaptive preferences have nevertheless attracted substantial criticism in recent political theory. The groundbreaking analysis of Jon Elster charged that such preferences are not autonomous, and several other commentators have since (...) followed Elster’s lead. On a second front, Capacity Theorists Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen have objected that adaptive preferences lead people away from objective goods and constitute an impediment to progressive change in developing countries. In this paper I argue that the criticisms of Elster, Sen and Nussbaum fail on the one hand to take into account what may be positively said in favour of this type of preference formation, and fail on the other hand to distinguish between different types of psychological changes – with the result that many of the critiques offered have a narrower purview than is currently allowed. My analysis of adaptive preferences, even in their most ideal form, is however not entirely positive; I adduce reasons why we can be cautious about allowing adaptive preferences to play certain types of roles in political processes, even as we accept those very preferences as normative and autonomous for the agent holding them. [International scholars without access to the AJPAE are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org for a pdf copy of this article.]. (shrink)
The significance which any human action carries for normative reasoning is held to include its causal preconditions as well as its causal consequences. That claim is defended against a series of natural objections. The point is then extended from actions to preferences via discussion of Barry and Dworkin. The grounds for excluding nosy preferences from aggregation must involve appeal not just to rights and intention but also to the consequences of acting on them. But then some of the (...) features in virtue of which nosy preferences are held to be objectionable will also be present in any other preference. (shrink)
I distinguish several doctrines that economic methodologists have found attractive, all of which have a positivist flavour. One of these is the doctrine that preference assignments in economics are just shorthand descriptions of agents' choice behaviour. Although most of these doctrines are problematic, the latter doctrine about preference assignments is a respectable one, I argue. It doesn't entail any of the problematic doctrines, and indeed it is warranted independently of them.