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A dynamic model of interactions between conscious and unconscious

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  • Lotz, Aileen
  • Gosselin, Pierre

Abstract

This paper advocates that some limits of the rational agent hypothesis result from the improper assumption that one individual should be modeled as a single rational agent. We model an individual composed of two autonomous and interacting structures, conscious and unconscious. Each agent utility form depends both on external signals and other structures' actions. The perception of the signal depends on its recipient and its grid of interpretation. We study both the static and dynamic version of this interaction mechanism. We show that the dynamics may display instability, depending on the structures interactions'strength. However, if unconscious has a strategic advantage, greater stability is reached. By manipulating other structures�goals, the strategic agent can lead the whole system to an equilibrium closer to its own optimum. This result shows that some switch in the conscious�objective can appear. Behaviors that can't be explained with a single utility can thus be rational if we add a rational unconscious agent. Our results justify our hypothesis of a rational interacting unconscious. It supports the widening of the notion of rationality to multi-rationnality in interaction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36697.

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Date of creation: 15 Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36697

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Keywords: dual agent; conscious and unconscious; rationality; multi-rationality; emotions; choices and preferences; multi-agent model; consistency;

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  1. Rabin, Mathew, 2002. "A Perspective on Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt4z78n1r9, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  3. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  4. Elster, Jon & Ekeland, Ivar, 2011. "Théorie économique et rationalité," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13502, Paris Dauphine University.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  6. J. Doyne Farmer & John Geanakoplos, 2008. "The Virtues and Vices of Equilibrium and the Future of Financial Economics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1647, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Lotz, Aïleen, 2011. "An Economic Approach to the Self : the Dual Agent," MPRA Paper 30043, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Berg, Nathan, 2010. "Behavioral Economics," MPRA Paper 26587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Gosselin, Pierre & Lotz, Aileen & Wambst, Marc, 2013. "On apparent irrational behaviors : interacting structures and the mind," MPRA Paper 44421, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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