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

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  • Smerilli, Alessandra

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Smerilli, Alessandra, 2010. "We-thinking and vacillation between frames: filling a gap in Bacharach's theory," MPRA Paper 25246, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25246
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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 1443-1458, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Nicholas Bardsley & Judith Mehta & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2010. "Explaining Focal Points: Cognitive Hierarchy Theory "versus" Team Reasoning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 40-79, March.
    5. Sugden, Robert, 1995. "A Theory of Focal Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 533-550, May.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Casajus, Andre, 2000. "Focal Points in Framed Strategic Forms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 263-291, August.
    9. Leonardo Becchetti & Giacomo Degli Antoni & Marco Faillo, 2009. "Common reason to believe and framing effect in the team reasoning theory: an experimental approach," Econometica Working Papers wp15, Econometica.
    10. Sugden, Robert, 2000. "Team Preferences," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 175-204, October.
    11. Maarten Janssen, 2001. "Rationalizing Focal Points," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 119-148, March.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luis Aranda & Martin Siyaranamual, 2014. "Are Smarter People Better Samaritans? Effect of Cognitive Abilities on Pro-Social Behaviors," Working Papers 2014:06, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    2. Alessandra Smerilli, 2013. "Okasha, Samir and Binmore, Ken (eds): Evolution and rationality: decisions, cooperation and strategic behaviour," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 60(2), pages 241-243, June.
    3. Marco Faillo & Alessandra Smerilli & Robert Sugden, 2016. "Can a single theory explain coordination? An experiment on alternative modes of reasoning and the conditions under which they are used," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-01, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    4. Marco Faillo & Alessandra Smerilli & Robert Sugden, 2013. "The roles of level-k and team reasoning in solving coordination games," CEEL Working Papers 1306, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    5. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:317-335 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Luigino Bruni, 2013. "Evolution, games, and God: the principle of cooperation edited by Martin Novak and Sarah Coakley," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 60(2), pages 235-240, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    we-thinking; frames; vacillation; game theory;

    JEL classification:

    • C79 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Other
    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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