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Axiomatic Foundations for Satisficing Behavior

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  • Christopher Tyson

Abstract

A theory of decision making is proposed that supplies an axiomatic basis for the concept of satisficing postulated by Herbert Simon. After a detailed review of classical results that characterize several varieties of preference-maximizing choice behavior, the axiomatization proceeds by weakening the inter-menu contraction consistency condition involved in these characterizations. This exercise is shown to be logically equivalent to dropping the usual cognitive assumption that the decision maker fully perceives his preferences among available alternatives, and requiring instead merely that his ability to perceive a given preference be weakly decreasing with respect to the relative complexity (indicated by set inclusion) of the choice problem at hand. A version of Simon`s hypothesis then emerges when the notion of perceived preference is endowed with sufficiently strong ordering properties, and the axiomatization leads as well to a constraint on the form of satisficing that the decision maker may legitimately employ.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 2005-W03.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:2005-w03

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Keywords: Choice Function; Cognition; Reveal Preference; Threshold;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Pivato, Marcus, 2012. "Multiutility representations for incomplete difference preorders," MPRA Paper 41182, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Papi, Mauro, 2012. "Satisficing choice procedures," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 451-462.
  3. Papi, Mauro, 2013. "Satisficing and maximizing consumers in a monopolistic screening model," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 385-389.
  4. Nicolas Houy, 2008. "Progressive knowledge revealed preferences and sequential rationalizability," Working Papers hal-00360546, HAL.
  5. Georgios, Gerasimou, 2013. "A Behavioural Model of Choice in the Presence of Decision Conflict," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-25, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  6. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco & Tyson, Christopher J., 2011. "Manipulation of Choice Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 5891, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Manzini, Paola & Tyson, Christopher J. & Mariotti, Marco, 2013. "Two-stage threshold representations," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(3), September.
  8. Christopher Tyson, 2013. "Behavioral implications of shortlisting procedures," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 941-963, October.

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