Rational Choice Theory: An Overview

Document Type : Original Article


It seems easy to accept that rationality involves many features that cannot be summarized in terms of some straightforward formula, such as binary consistency.  However, this recognition does not immediately lead to alternative characterizations that might be regarded as satisfactory, even though the inadequacies of the traditional assumptions of rational behavior standard used in economic theory have become hard to deny.  It will not be an easy task to find replacements for the standard assumptions of rational behavior ... that can be found in the traditional economic literature, both because the identified deficiencies have been seen as calling for rather divergent remedies, and also because there is little hope of finding an alternative assumption structure that will be as simple and usable as the traditional assumptions of self-interest maximization, or of consistency of choice.


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