Categorical Cognition: A Psychological Model of Categories and Identification in Decision Making
AbstractThere is a wealth of research in psychology demonstrating that agents process information with the aid of categories. In this paper we study this phenomenon in two parts. First, we build a model of how experiences are sorted into categories and how categorization affects decision making. Second, we analyze the personal biases that result from categorization, in economic contexts. We show that discrimination can result from such cognitive processes even when there is no malevolent taste to do so and workers' qualifications are fully observable. The model also provides a framework that is equipped to investigate the social psychological concept of identity, where identity is viewed as self-categorization.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9579.
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Fryer, Ronald and M. Jackson. “Categorical Cognition: A Psychological Model of Categories and Identification in Decision Making: An Extended Abstract." Proceedings of the 9th conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (2003): 29-34.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Jackson, Matthew O. & Fryer Jr., Roland G., 2002. "Categorical Cognition: A Psychological Model of Categories and Identification in Decision Making," Working Papers, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences 1144, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Roland G. Fryer & Matthew O. Jackson, 2002. "Categorical Cognition: A Psychological Model of Categories and Identification in Decision Making," Microeconomics, EconWPA 0211002, EconWPA.
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-03-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2003-03-25 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2003-03-25 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-MIC-2003-03-25 (Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kim-Sau Chung, 2000. "Role Models and Arguments for Affirmative Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 640-648, June.
- Nicholas Barberis & Andrei Shleifer, 2000.
NBER Working Papers
8039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Steven D. Levitt, 2002.
"Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School,"
NBER Working Papers
8975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 447-464, May.
- Jackson, Matthew O. & Kalai, Ehud, 1997.
"Social Learning in Recurring Games,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 102-134, October.
- Matthew Jackson & Ehud Kalai, 1995. "Social Learning in Recurring Games," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1138, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Cornell, Bradford & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Culture, Information, and Screening Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 542-71, June.
- Phipps Arabie, 1991. "Was euclid an unnecessarily sophisticated psychologist?," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 56(4), pages 567-587, December.
- Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "First Impressions Matter: A Model Of Confirmatory Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 37-82, February.
- Moro, Andrea & Norman, Peter, 2004.
"A general equilibrium model of statistical discrimination,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 1-30, January.
- Moro,A. & Norman,P., 2001. "A general equilibrium model of statistical discrimination," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Philippe Jeniel, 2001.
"Analogy-Based Expectation Equilibrium,"
Economics Working Papers
0003, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
- Hanming Fang, 2001. "Social Culture and Economic Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 924-937, September.
- repec:fth:harver:1908 is not listed on IDEAS
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.