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.
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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.
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Other versions of this item:
- Roland G. Fryer & Matthew O. Jackson, 2002. "Categorical Cognition: A Psychological Model of Categories and Identification in Decision Making," Microeconomics 0211002, EconWPA.
- Jackson, Matthew O. & Fryer Jr., Roland G., 2002. "Categorical Cognition: A Psychological Model of Categories and Identification in Decision Making," Working Papers 1144, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- 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)
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