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A Cognitive Model of Individual Well-Being

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  • David Schmeidler

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  • Itzhak Gilboa

Abstract

This paper offers a model of individual well-being that takes into account cognitive factors. It postulates that individuals compare payoffs to aspiration levels. The latter are determined by past experiences (adaptation), by other people's performance (interpersonal comparison), as well as by reasoning (justifications and excuses). We axiomatize a measure of well-being defined on real-valued vectors of various lengths. It is a linear combination of differences between payoffs and aspiration levels, where the aspiration level at each instance is a linear function of past payoffs.
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Suggested Citation

  • David Schmeidler & Itzhak Gilboa, 1996. "A Cognitive Model of Individual Well-Being," Working Papers 029, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:osu:osuewp:029
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    File URL: http://ecolan.sbs.ohio-state.edu/pdf/schmeidler/well-be.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Conchita D'Ambrosio & Joachim R. Frick, 2012. "Individual Wellbeing in a Dynamic Perspective," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(314), pages 284-302, April.
    2. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2012. "Social Decision Theory: Choosing within and between Groups," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1591-1636.
    3. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2008. "Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1061-1077, June.
    4. Golosnoy, Vasyl & Okhrin, Yarema, 2008. "General uncertainty in portfolio selection: A case-based decision approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 718-734, September.
    5. Marta Barazzetta & Simon Appleton & Trudy Owens, 2015. "Hedonic adaptation to treatment: Evidence from a medical intervention," Discussion Papers 2015-08, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    6. Brown, Gordon D. A. & Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J. & Qian, Jing, 2005. "Does Wage Rank Affect Employees' Wellbeing?," IZA Discussion Papers 1505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Pingle, Mark, 2005. "Aspiration uncertainty: its impact on decision performance and process," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 617-629, April.
    8. Isabel Günther & Johannes K. Maier, 2014. "Poverty, Vulnerability, and Reference-Dependent Utility," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(1), pages 155-181, March.
    9. Anand, Paul & van Hees, Martin, 2006. "Capabilities and achievements: An empirical study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 268-284, April.
    10. Tsoukias, Alexis, 2008. "From decision theory to decision aiding methodology," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 187(1), pages 138-161, May.

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