By Erik Angner
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Additional resources for A Course In Behavioral Economics
But this is not the same as being selfish: the rational individual may, for example, prefer dying for a just cause over getting rich by defrauding others. 6 Consumer choice problem 2 3 Apples fJI A Course in Behavioral Economics relation; it does not say anything about the things people prefer. The theory is silent about whether or not they pursue respectable and moral ends: a rational person may prefer the destruction of the earth to the scratching of his little finger. Rational people may be weird, evil, sadistic, selfish, and morally repugnant, or saintly, inspiring, thoughtful, selfless, and morally admirable; they can act out of compulsion, habit, feeling, or as a result of machine-like computation.
31(ii). 7. One important point to note is that utility functions are not unique. 7 could have been chosen very differently. The sequence (0, l, 323) would have done as well, as would (-1000, -2, 0) and (-rr,e, 1077). All these are utility functions, in that they associate higher numbers with more preferred options. As these examples show, it is important not to ascribe any significance to absolute numbers. To know that the utility I derive from listening to Justin Bieber is 2 tells you nbsolutely nothing about my preferences.
26 The menu If a restaurant offers two appetizers (soup and salad) and two en trees (chicken nnd beeO and you must choose one appetizer and one en tree, what is your set of alternatives? Since there are four possible combinations, your set of alternatives is lsoup-a ndchicken, soup-and-beef, salad-and-chicken, salad-and-beef). 27 The menu, cont. If you can also choose to eat an appetizer only, or an entree only, or nothing at all, what would the new menu be? There is no assumption that a menu is small, or even finite, though we frequently assume that it is.
A Course In Behavioral Economics by Erik Angner