IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nuf/econwp/0503.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Axiomatic Foundations for Satisficing Behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher J.Tyson

    () (Nuffield College, Oxford)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher J.Tyson, 2005. "Axiomatic Foundations for Satisficing Behavior," Economics Papers 2005-W03, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0503
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2005/W3/060105.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mirrlees, James A., 1987. "Economic Policy and Nonrational Behavior," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9tw447ws, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Wulf Gaertner & Yongsheng Xu, 1999. "On rationalizability of choice functions: A characterization of the median," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 16(4), pages 629-638.
    3. Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
    4. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
    5. José Apesteguía & Miguel A. Ballester, 2005. "Minimal Books Of Rationales," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0501, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
    6. Gil Kalai & Ariel Rubinstein & Ran Spiegler, 2002. "Rationalizing Choice Functions By Multiple Rationales," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2481-2488, November.
    7. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    8. Aumann, Robert J, 1987. "Correlated Equilibrium as an Expression of Bayesian Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 1-18, January.
    9. Amartya Sen, 1997. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
    10. Sheshinski, Eytan, 2000. "Bounded Rationality and Socially Optimal Limits on Choice in A Self-Selection Model," MPRA Paper 56141, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2002.
    11. Baigent, Nick & Gaertner, Wulf, 1996. "Never Choose the Uniquely Largest: A Characterization," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 239-249, August.
    12. Simon, Herbert A, 1986. "Rationality in Psychology and Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 209-224, October.
    13. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester, 2007. "On the complexity of rationalizing behavior," Economics Working Papers 1048, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    14. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2004. "Rationalizing Boundedly Rational Choice," Microeconomics 0407005, EconWPA, revised 21 Dec 2005.
    15. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "Social Choice Theory: A Re-examination," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 53-89, January.
    16. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    17. Amartya K. Sen, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 307-317.
    18. Herbert A. Simon, 1955. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 99-118.
    19. Amartya Sen, 1969. "Quasi-Transitivity, Rational Choice and Collective Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 381-393.
    20. Sen, Amartya K, 1973. "Behaviour and the Concept of Preference," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(159), pages 241-259, August.
    21. Herzberger, Hans G, 1973. "Ordinal Preference and Rational Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(2), pages 187-237, March.
    22. Georges Bordes, 1976. "Consistency, Rationality and Collective Choice," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(3), pages 451-457.
    23. John Conlisk, 1996. "Why Bounded Rationality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 669-700, June.
    24. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    25. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Internal Consistency of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 495-521, May.
    26. Anand, Paul, 1993. "The Philosophy of Intransitive Preference," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 337-346, March.
    27. Johnson, Mark R. & Dean, Richard A., 2001. "Locally complete path independent choice functions and their lattices," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 53-87, July.
    28. Simon, Herbert A, 1979. "Rational Decision Making in Business Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 493-513, September.
    29. Fuad Aleskerov & Denis Bouyssou & Bernard Monjardet, 2007. "Utility Maximization, Choice and Preference," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00197186, HAL.
    30. Machina, Mark J & Schmeidler, David, 1992. "A More Robust Definition of Subjective Probability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 745-780, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0503. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maxine Collett). General contact details of provider: https://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/economics/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.