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Bounded rationality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some models of human behavior in the social sciences assume that humans can be reasonably approximated or described as "rational" entities (see for example rational choice theory). Many economics models assume that people are hyperrational, and would never do anything to violate their preferences. The concept of bounded rationality revises this assumption to account for the fact that perfectly rational decisions are often not feasible in practice due to the finite computational resources available for making them.

The term is thought to have been coined by Herbert Simon. In Models of My Life, Herbert Simon points out that most people are only partly rational, and are in fact emotional/irrational in the remaining part of their actions. In another work, he states "boundedly rational agents experience limits in formulating and solving complex problems and in processing (receiving, storing, retrieving, transmitting) information" (Williamson, p. 553, citing Simon). Simon describes a number of dimensions along which "classical" models of rationality can be made somewhat more realistic, while sticking within the vein of fairly rigorous formalization.

You can ask, though, whether it isn't the 'fairly rigorous formalization' that is the problem.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Aug 23rd, 2008 at 07:04:56 AM EST

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