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Comparative Decision Making$
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Thomas R. Zentall and Philip H. Crowley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199856800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199856800.001.0001

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The Social Nature of Human Decision Making

The Social Nature of Human Decision Making

Chapter:
(p.111) Chapter 5 The Social Nature of Human Decision Making
Source:
Comparative Decision Making
Author(s):

James D. Morrow

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199856800.003.0012

This chapter is built around a general and particularly powerful framework for understanding social interactions and associated decisions: game theory. The main premise of game theory is that a player’s best decision hinges on what other players are likely to decide. But in the frequent situations where social game players benefit from converging on identical or complementary decisions, common conjectures about decisions can play a key role. Social norms such as fairness standards are an important category of common conjectures that are socially enforced. But in other cases convergence on compatible decisions may depend on trial and error or on pre-game communication, at least when communication is likely to be reliable. The shortcomings and biases of human reasoning addressed in later chapters diverge from the ideal of Homo economicus and may thus add to the challenge of attaining consistent convergence on common conjectures in social decision making.

Keywords:   social interactions, game theory, convergence, fairness standards, pre-game communication, human reasoning, common conjectures

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