The robot, the party animal and the philosopher: an evolutionary perspective on deliberation and preference

Earl, Peter E. (2013) The robot, the party animal and the philosopher: an evolutionary perspective on deliberation and preference. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 37 6: 1263-1282. doi:10.1093/cje/bet046


Author Earl, Peter E.
Title The robot, the party animal and the philosopher: an evolutionary perspective on deliberation and preference
Journal name Cambridge Journal of Economics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0309-166X
1464-3545
Publication date 2013-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/cje/bet046
Volume 37
Issue 6
Start page 1263
End page 1282
Total pages 20
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Abstract This paper examines the evolutionary fitness of a variety of ways of reaching decisions in early hunter-gatherer societies, in order to derive insights about how economists should view modern consumers. It challenges conclusions reached by mainstream economists Robson, Rayo and Becker about why hunter-gatherers needed sensory rewards and about the kinds of preference systems that would have conferred evolutionary fitness. It argues that evolution favours those with a variety of ways of reaching decisions-programmed, deliberative, intuitive and 'go with the flow'-and that the prospect of sensory rewards serves an evolutionary role by diverting people from thinking too much about what they are doing in situations in which deliberation might interfere with survival or reproduction. The evolutionary role of a reluctance or failure to make trade-offs is also considered along with the benefits of developing a relatively fixed identity rather than being 'all things to all men'.
Keyword Context-based view of choice
Decision rules
Evolution
Identity
Preferences
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Economics Publications
 
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