Reason-based choice and context-dependence: An explanatory framework

Economics and Philosophy 32 (2):175-229 (2016)
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We introduce a “reason-based” framework for explaining and predicting individual choices. It captures the idea that a decision-maker focuses on some but not all properties of the options and chooses an option whose motivationally salient properties he/she most prefers. Reason-based explanations allow us to distinguish between two kinds of context-dependent choice: the motivationally salient properties may (i) vary across choice contexts, and (ii) include not only “intrinsic” properties of the options, but also “context-related” properties. Our framework can accommodate boundedly rational and sophisticatedly rational choice. Since properties can be recombined in new ways, it also offers resources for predicting choices in unobserved contexts.
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A Reason-Based Theory of Rational Choice.Dietrich, Franz & List, Christian
Choice, Internal Consistency and Rationality.Bhattacharyya, Aditi; Pattanaik, Prasanta K. & Xu, Yongsheng
A Model of Non-Informational Preference Change.Dietrich, Franz & List, Christian
Preference Based on Reasons.Osherson, Daniel & Weinstein, Scott

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