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Rational, Normative and Procedural Theories of Beliefs: Can They Explain Internal Motivations?

Listed author(s):
  • Elias L. Khalil

This paper offers three-way taxonomy of theories of beliefs. For rational theories, beliefs are determined by given information and updated via Bayes's rule. For normative theory, best represented by Hayek and sociological theory, beliefs are categories that precede information and, in fact, formulate the otherwise impenetrable information. For procedural theory, best represented by Herbert Simon and pragmatic philosophy, while beliefs formulate the information, they can be replaced in response to shocks. While each theory manages to capture one kind of belief, all three largely fail to explain internal motivations that characterize entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity. The failure arises from the fact that the three theories are about cognitive beliefs (i.e., beliefs about the world), while internal motivations are beliefs concerning self-ability.

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Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Journal of Economic Issues.

Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 641-664

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Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:45:y:2011:i:3:p:641-664
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