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A model of non-informational preference change

Dietrich, Franz and List, Christian (2009) A model of non-informational preference change. PSPE working papers (08-2009). Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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According to standard rational choice theory, as commonly used in political science and economics, an agent's fundamental preferences are exogenously fixed, and any preference change over decision options is due to Bayesian information learning. Although elegant and parsimonious, such a model fails to account for preference change driven by experiences or psychological changes distinct from information learning. We develop a model of non-informational preference change. Alternatives are modelled as points in some multidimensional space, only some of whose dimensions play a role in shaping the agent's preferences. Any change in these 'motivationally salient' dimensions can change the agent's preferences. How it does so is described by a new representation theorem. Our model not only captures a wide range of frequently observed phenomena, but also generalizes some standard representations of preferences in political science and economics.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: © 2009 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2009 13:08
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2021 00:35

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