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On Apparent Irrational Behaviors : Interacting Structures and the Mind

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Author Info

  • Pierre Gosselin

    ()
    (IF - Institut Fourier - CNRS : UMR5582 - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble I)

  • Aïleen Lotz

    ()
    (Cerca Trova - Aucune)

  • Marc Wambst

    ()
    (IRMA - Institut de Recherche Mathématique Avancée - CNRS : UMR7501 - Université de Strasbourg)

Abstract

We develop a general method to solve models of interactions between multiple and possibly strategic agents. Our model explains apparently irrational or biased behaviors in a person. We argue that these actions could result from several rational structures having different goals. Our main example is a model of three agents, "conscious", "unconscious", and "body". Our main result states that, for an agent whose unconscious and conscious goals differ, the unconscious may influence the conscious, either directly or indirectly, via a third agent, the body. This three-agent model describes behaviors such as craving, exces- sive smoking, or sleepiness, to delay or dismiss a task. One of the main result shows that the unconscious' strategic action crucially depends on whether the conscious' actions are complementary in time. When complementary, and if the conscious is not sensitive to un- conscious' messages, the unconscious may drive the conscious towards its goals by blurring physical needs. When not complementary, the unconscious may more easily reach his goal by influencing the conscious, be it directly or indirectly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00851309.

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Date of creation: 13 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00851309

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Related research

Keywords: dual agent; conscious and unconscious; rationality; multi-rationality; consis- tency; choices and preferences; multi-agent model;

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  1. Lotz, Aïleen, 2011. "An Economic Approach to the Self : the Dual Agent," MPRA Paper 30043, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2005. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000876, David K. Levine.
  3. Lotz, Aileen & Gosselin, Pierre, 2012. "A dynamic model of interactions between conscious and unconscious," MPRA Paper 36697, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Don Ross, 2007. "Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262681684, December.
  5. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  6. Schelling, Thomas C, 1978. "Egonomics, or the Art of Self-Management," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 290-94, May.
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