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

  • Smerilli, Alessandra

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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  1. Bacharach, Michael & Bernasconi, Michele, 1997. "The Variable Frame Theory of Focal Points: An Experimental Study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-45, April.
  2. Sugden, Robert, 1995. "A Theory of Focal Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 533-50, May.
  3. Casajus, Andre, 2000. "Focal Points in Framed Strategic Forms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 263-291, August.
  4. Maarten Janssen, 2001. "Rationalizing Focal Points," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 119-148, March.
  5. 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, vol. 98(4), pages 1443-58, September.
  6. 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, vol. 37(1), pages 1-17, February.
  7. Janssen, Maarten C.W., 2006. "On the strategic use of focal points in bargaining situations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 622-634, October.
  8. Sugden, Robert, 2000. "Team Preferences," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 175-204, October.
  9. 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, volume 2, number hume1739a.
  10. 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, volume 3, number hume1740.
  11. Bacharach, Michael, 1999. "Interactive team reasoning: A contribution to the theory of co-operation," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 117-147, June.
  12. Guala, Francesco & Mittone, Luigi & Ploner, Matteo, 2013. "Group membership, team preferences, and expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 183-190.
  13. Daniel John Zizzo, 2004. "Positive Harmony Transformations and Equilibrium Selection in Two-Player Games," Economics Series Working Papers 197, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. 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, volume 1, number hume1739.
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