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A dynamic model of interactions between conscious and unconscious

  • Lotz, Aileen
  • Gosselin, Pierre

This paper advocates that some limits of the rational agent hypothesis result from the improper assumption that one individual should be modeled as a single rational agent. We model an individual composed of two autonomous and interacting structures, conscious and unconscious. Each agent utility form depends both on external signals and other structures' actions. The perception of the signal depends on its recipient and its grid of interpretation. We study both the static and dynamic version of this interaction mechanism. We show that the dynamics may display instability, depending on the structures interactions'strength. However, if unconscious has a strategic advantage, greater stability is reached. By manipulating other structures�goals, the strategic agent can lead the whole system to an equilibrium closer to its own optimum. This result shows that some switch in the conscious�objective can appear. Behaviors that can't be explained with a single utility can thus be rational if we add a rational unconscious agent. Our results justify our hypothesis of a rational interacting unconscious. It supports the widening of the notion of rationality to multi-rationnality in interaction.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36697.

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Date of creation: 15 Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36697
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  1. Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "A perspective on psychology and economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 657-685, May.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Pierre Gosselin & Aileen Lotz & Charles Wyplosz, 2006. "How Much Information should Interest Rate-Setting Central Banks Reveal?," IHEID Working Papers 08-2006, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  5. J. Doyne Farmer & John Geanakoplos, 2008. "The Virtues and Vices of Equilibrium and the Future of Financial Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002067, David K. Levine.
  6. Elster, Jon & Ekeland, Ivar, 2011. "Théorie économique et rationalité," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13502, Paris Dauphine University.
  7. Lotz, Aïleen, 2011. "An Economic Approach to the Self : the Dual Agent," MPRA Paper 50771, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  9. Berg, Nathan, 2010. "Behavioral Economics," MPRA Paper 26587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. P. Gosselin & A. Lotz & C. Wyplosz, 2008. "When Central Banks Reveal Future Interest Rates: Alignment of Expectations Vs. Creative Opacity," Post-Print hal-00383304, HAL.
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