Very interesting analysis of those who act in their own self interest versus the interest of the group. Lesson Learned: Don’t date an economist.
When economics students learn about what makes fellow humans tick it affects the way they treat others. Not necessarily in a good way, as Tom Stafford explains.
Studying human behaviour can be like a dog trying to catch its own tail. As we learn more about ourselves, our new beliefs change how we behave. Research on economics students showed this in action: textbooks describing facts and theories about human behaviour can affect the people studying them.
Economic models are often based on an imaginary character called the rational actor, who, with no messy and complex inner world, relentlessly pursues a set of desires ranked according to the costs and benefits. Rational actors help create simple models of economies and societies. According to rational choice theory, some of the predictions governing these hypothetical worlds are common sense: people should prefer more to less, firms should only do things that make…
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