15 Sep 2011

My talk at NESS@ECCS 2011: Mundane Rationality as a basis for modelling and understanding behaviour within specific contexts

Slides:
http://www.slideshare.net/BruceEdmonds/mundane-rationality-as-a-basis-for-modelling-and-understanding-behaviour-within-specific-contexts-9251997

Abstract:
The paper starts out by pointing out the context-dependency of human cognition and behaviour, pointing out that (a) human behaviour can change sharply across contexts but also that (b) behaviour within a given context can sometimes be described in relatively simple terms .  It thus argues against a grand theory of rationality that seeks to explain and/or generate human behaviour across of contexts.  Rather it suggests an alternative approach whereby  "mundane" accounts of rationality are used which are specific to a limited number of contexts.  Such an approach has its particular difficulties, but allows the integration of narrative accounts of possible behaviours using a variety of social mechanisms at the micro level with comparisons with aggregate macro data.  It is noted that in the resulting simulations that equilibria are simply not relevant within plausible timescales.

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