Functionalism and the role of psychology in economics


Type
Article
Change log
Abstract

Should economics study the psychological basis of agents' choice behaviour? I show how this question is multifaceted and profoundly ambiguous. There is no sharp distinction between "mentalist'' answers to this question and rival "behavioural'' answers. What's more, clarifying this point raises problems for mentalists of the "functionalist'' variety (Dietrich and List, 2016). Firstly, functionalist hypotheses collapse into hypotheses about input--output dispositions, I show, unless one places some unwelcome restrictions on what counts as a cognitive variable. Secondly, functionalist hypotheses make some risky commitments about the plasticity of agents' choice dispositions.

Description
Keywords
Mentalism, behaviourism, cognitive science, neuroeconomics, revealed preference, aims of economics
Journal Title
Journal of Economic Methodology
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
1350-178X
1469-9427
Volume Title
27
Publisher
Informa UK Limited
Rights
All rights reserved
Sponsorship
European Research Council (715530)
European Research Council