Gerd Gigerenzer

in Adaptive Thinking

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780195153729
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849222 | DOI:

Series: Evolution and Cognition Series


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Social rationality is a specific form of ecological rationality, one in which the environment consists of other humans. The program of social rationality explains human judgment and decision making in terms of the structure of social environments. This chapter illustrates how behaviors that look irrational from an individualistic point of view can turn out to be well adapted to a specific social environment. Social environments foster different strategies than physical environments, such as imitation instead of deliberation, and demand attention to information that is unique to social interaction, such as cues that could reveal that one is being cheated or bluffed. The examples demonstrate that only by referring to something external to the rules or axioms, such as social objectives, values, and norms, can one decide whether an axiom or choice rule entails rational behavior.

Keywords: social rationality; ecological rationality; social environment; behaviors; imitation; social interaction; rational behaviour

Chapter.  4465 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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