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28 J. Conflict Resol. 3 (1984)

handle is hein.journals/jcfltr28 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Beyond Economic Man


Department of Public Policy
University of Manitoba

Department of Government and Politics
University of Maryland


   The existence and prevalence of behavior inconsistent with economists' definition of
self-interest is measured in an experimental context. Experimental situations involving
choices with monetary payoffs are designed to induce preferences. The subjects'behaviors
are used to measure the existence and intensity of various forms of motivation based on
interactive preference functions. Explicitly, we test for altruistic, egalitarian, and
difference maximizing behaviors. Attempts to explain the nonself-interested choices by
psychological and ideological constructs are not successful but statistical relationships
between these choices and partisan political preferences are found.

  Economic man is rational and self-interested. From at least the time
  of Adam  Smith   and  his Wealth  of Nations,  these  two fundamental
  behavioral assumptions   have   formed   the twin  pillars upon   which
  modern microeconomic analysis   has been  built. Indeed the assumptions
  are so entrenched  in  the minds   of economists   that they  are often
  implicitly assumed to be a single assumption.  Of  course they  are not.

     1. The designation man is generic here: it is worth noting that economics has a long
 history of attributing rationalit\ to both sexes.

    AUTHORS'   NOTE:  We  thank John Atwell, Gary Miller, Cheryl Eavy, and Ellie
 Tragakis who were instrumental in early discussions on the structure of the experiment.
 We are also grateful for Morris Fiorina's, Dennis M ueller's. and Fred Thompson's helpful
 criticisms of drafts of this article. Leigh Quesnel and Melanie Chan helped in the data

 JOUsRNAI- OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION. Vol. 28 No i, March 1984 3-24
 0 1984 Sage Publi1con.. Inc.

from the SAGE Social Science Collections. All Rights Reserved.

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