Dual Process Theory Opposes Decision Theory?
Do any of the findings that support the dual-process theory of instrumental action enable us to construct a good objection to game theory as an elucidation of subjective probabilities and preferences?
The dual-process theory of instrumental action was introduced in
Instrumental Actions: Goal-Directed and Habitual.
We considered game theory as an
elucidation of subjective probabilities and preferences
in What Are Preferences?.
Ask a Question
Your question will normally be answered in the question
session of the next lecture.
More information about asking questions.
: I use ‘decision theory’ for the theory elaborated by Jeffrey (1983). Variants are variously called ‘expected utility theory’ (Hargreaves-Heap & Varoufakis, 2004), ‘revealed preference theory’ (Sen, 1973) and ‘the theory of rational choice’ (Sugden, 1991). As the differences between variants are not important for our purposes, the term can be used for any of core formal parts of the standard approaches based on Ramsey (1931) and Savage (1972).
dual-process theory of instrumental action
: instrumental action ‘is controlled by two dissociable processes: a
goal-directed and an habitual process’ (Dickinson, 2016, p. 177).
: This term is used for any version of the theory based on the ideas of Neumann et al. (1953) and presented in any of the standard textbooks including. Hargreaves-Heap & Varoufakis (2004); Osborne & Rubinstein (1994); Tadelis (2013); Rasmusen (2007).
: An action is instrumental if it happens in
order to bring about an outcome,
as when you press a lever in order to obtain food. (In this case,
obtaining food is the outcome, lever pressing is the action, and the
action is instrumental because it occurs in order to bring it about
that you obtain food.)
You may variations on this definition of instrumental in the literature.
Dickinson (2016, p. 177)
characterises instrumental actions differently: in place of the teleological
‘in order to bring about an outcome’, he stipulates that an instrumental
action is one that is ‘controlled by the contingency between’ the action
and an outcome. And de Wit & Dickinson (2009, p. 464) stipulate that
‘instrumental actions are learned’.
Davidson, D. (1987). Problems in the explanation of action. In P. Pettit, R. Sylvan, & J. Norman (Eds.), Metaphysics and morality: Essays in honour of j. J. C. smart
(pp. 35–49). Oxford: Blackwell.
de Wit, S., & Dickinson, A. (2009). Associative theories of goal-directed behaviour: A case for animalhuman translational models. Psychological Research PRPF
(4), 463–476. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-009-0230-6
Dickinson, A. (2016). Instrumental conditioning revisited: Updating dual-process theory. In J. B. Trobalon & V. D. Chamizo (Eds.), Associative learning and cognition
(Vol. 51, pp. 177–195). Edicions Universitat Barcelona.
Hargreaves-Heap, S., & Varoufakis, Y. (2004). Game theory: A critical introduction
. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2587142~S1
Jeffrey, R. C. (1983). The logic of decision, second edition
. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Neumann, J. von, Morgenstern, O., Rubinstein, A., & Kuhn, H. W. (1953). Theory of Games and Economic Behavior
. Princeton, N.J. ; Woodstock: Princeton University Press.
Osborne, M. J., & Rubinstein, A. (1994). A course in game theory
. MIT press.
Ramsey, F. (1931). Truth and probability. In R. Braithwaite (Ed.), The foundations of mathematics and other logical essays
. London: Routledge.
Rasmusen, E. (2007). Games and information: An introduction to game theory
(4th ed). Malden, MA ; Oxford: Blackwell Pub.
Savage, L. J. (1972). The foundations of statistics
(2nd rev. ed). New York: Dover Publications.
Sen, A. (1973). Behaviour and the Concept of Preference. Economica
(159), 241–259. https://doi.org/10.2307/2552796
Sugden, R. (1991). Rational Choice: A Survey of Contributions from Economics and Philosophy. The Economic Journal
(407), 751–785. https://doi.org/10.2307/2233854
Tadelis, S. (2013). Game theory: An introduction
. Princeton: Princeton University Press.