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On apparent irrational behaviors : interacting structures and the mind

  • Gosselin, Pierre
  • Lotz, Aileen
  • Wambst, Marc

We develop a general method to solve models of interactions between multiple agents, including the possibility of strategic advantage for some of them. We argue that this type of model applies to the description of apparently irrational or biased behaviors in a person whose action is the resultant of several rational structures with di�erent goals. Our main example is a three agents model, denoted "conscious", "unconscious", and "body". Our principal result is that, for an agent whose "unconscious" goals differ from the conscious ones, the unconscious may in uence the conscious either directly, or indirectly via a third agent, the body and its needs. This three agent model allows the description of behaviors such as craving, excessive smoking, or sleepiness, to delay or dismiss a task. One of the main result stands in the fact that the unconscious agent's strategic action depends crucially on whether the conscious' actions ("task" and "feeding") are complementary in time. When they are complementary, and if the conscious is not sensitive to unconscious' messages, the unconscious may drive the conscious towards its goals by blurring physical needs. When they are not complementary, the unconscious may more easily reach his goal by influencing the conscious, be it directly or indirectly.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44421.

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Date of creation: 15 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44421
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  1. Don Ross, 2007. "Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262681684, June.
  2. Lotz, Aïleen, 2011. "An Economic Approach to the Self : the Dual Agent," MPRA Paper 50771, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2005. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000876, David K. Levine.
  4. Schelling, Thomas C, 1978. "Egonomics, or the Art of Self-Management," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 290-94, May.
  5. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  6. Lotz, Aileen & Gosselin, Pierre, 2012. "A dynamic model of interactions between conscious and unconscious," MPRA Paper 36697, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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