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We-thinking and vacillation between frames: filling a gap in Bacharach's theory

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  • Smerilli, Alessandra

Abstract

The idea of team-thinking or we-thinking is increasingly drawing the attention of economists. The main claim of scholars who analyze we-thinking is that it is a coherent mode of reasoning people may use when they face a decision problem. But, if there is a general agreement on the existence of the we-mode of reasoning and on the fact people endorse it, scholars have different opinions about the way in which we-thinking arises and how it brings people to behave in a particular way. Then different authors have proposed different analyses of the issue. In this paper I address the issue by proposing a simple model of vacillation between the I and we-modes of reasoning, as a way in which we-thinking can arise in the face of a decision problem. The model is based on a not fully developed intuition - the double-crossing problem in the PD game - of Bacharach, whose theory is the most developed from an analytical point of view.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25246.

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Date of creation: 25 Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25246

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Keywords: we-thinking; frames; vacillation; game theory;

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  1. Leonardo Becchetti & Giacomo Degli Antoni & Marco Faillo, 2009. "Common reason to believe and framing effect in the team reasoning theory: an experimental approach," Econometica Working Papers, Econometica wp15, Econometica.
  2. Guala, Francesco & Mittone, Luigi & Ploner, Matteo, 2013. "Group membership, team preferences, and expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 183-190.
  3. Hume, David, 1740. "A Treatise of Human Nature (III) Of Morals," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number hume1740.
  4. Hume, David, 1739. "A Treatise of Human Nature (II) Of the Passions," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number hume1739a.
  5. Maarten Janssen, 2001. "Rationalizing Focal Points," Theory and Decision, Springer, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 119-148, March.
  6. Sugden, Robert, 1995. "A Theory of Focal Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 533-50, May.
  7. Tan, Jonathan H.W. & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2008. "Groups, cooperation and conflict in games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-17, February.
  8. Sugden, Robert, 2000. "Team Preferences," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 175-204, October.
  9. Bacharach, Michael, 1999. "Interactive team reasoning: A contribution to the theory of co-operation," Research in Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 117-147, June.
  10. Bacharach, Michael & Bernasconi, Michele, 1997. "The Variable Frame Theory of Focal Points: An Experimental Study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-45, April.
  11. Casajus, Andre, 2000. "Focal Points in Framed Strategic Forms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 263-291, August.
  12. Daniel John Zizzo, 2004. "Positive Harmony Transformations and Equilibrium Selection in Two-Player Games," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics 197, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Hume, David, 1739. "A Treatise of Human Nature (I) Of the Understanding," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number hume1739.
  14. Vincent P. Crawford & Uri Gneezy & Yuval Rottenstreich, 2008. "The Power of Focal Points Is Limited: Even Minute Payoff Asymmetry May Yield Large Coordination Failures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1443-58, September.
  15. Janssen, Maarten C.W., 2006. "On the strategic use of focal points in bargaining situations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 622-634, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Alessandra Smerilli, 2013. "Okasha, Samir and Binmore, Ken (eds): Evolution and rationality: decisions, cooperation and strategic behaviour," International Review of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 241-243, June.
  2. Marco Faillo & Alessandra Smerilli & Robert Sugden, 2013. "The roles of level-k and team reasoning in solving coordination games," CEEL Working Papers, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia 1306, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  3. Luigino Bruni, 2013. "Evolution, games, and God: the principle of cooperation edited by Martin Novak and Sarah Coakley," International Review of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 235-240, June.
  4. Luis Aranda & Martin Daniel Siyaranamual, 2014. "Are Smarter People Better Samaritans? Effect of Cognitive Abilities on Pro-Social Behaviors," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS), Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University 201405, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised May 2014.

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