Rational actor model
Rational Choice Theory, also known as Choice Theory or Rational Action Theory, is a framework for understanding and often formally modeling social and economic behavior. Rationality, interpreted as "wanting more rather than less of a good", is widely used as an assumption of the behavior of individuals in microeconomic models and analysis and appears in almost all economics textbook treatments of human decision-making. It is also central to some of modern political science,sociology, and philosophy. It attaches "wanting more" to instrumental rationality, which involves seeking the most cost-effective means to achieve a specific goal without reflecting on the worthiness of that goal. Gary Becker was an early proponent of applying rational actor models more widely. He won the 1992 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his studies of discrimination, crime, and human capital.
The "rationality" described by rational choice theory is different from the colloquial and most philosophical use of the word. Typically, "rationality" means "sane" or "in a thoughtful clear-headed manner,." Rational choice theory uses a specific and narrower definition of "rationality" simply to mean that an individual acts as if balancing costs against benefits to arrive at action that maximizes personal advantage. In rational choice theory, all decisions, crazy or sane, are postulated as mimicking such a "rational" process. Thus rationality is seen as a property of patterns of choices, rather than of individual choices: there is nothing irrational in preferring fish to meat the first time, but there is something irrational in preferring fish to meat and preferring meat to fish, regularly.
Work done under the rational choice theory paradigm typically does not investigate the origins, nature, or validity of human motivations (why we want what we want). Instead, it takes the biological, psychological, sociological, moral, and ethical roots of behavior and preferences as given and theorizes with these factors fixed.
Because rational choice theory lacks understanding of consumer motivation, some economists restrict its use to understanding business behavior where goals are usually very clear. As Armen Alchian points out, competition in the market encourages businesses to maximize profits (in order to survive). Because that goal is significantly less vacuous than "maximizing utility" and the like, rational choice theory is apt.
Although models used in rational choice theory are diverse, all assume individuals choose the best action according to unchanging and stable preference functions and constraints facing them. Most models have additional assumptions. Those proponents of rational choice models associated with the Chicago school of economics do not claim that a model's assumptions are a full description of reality, only that good models can aid reasoning and provide help in formulating falsifiable hypothesis, whether intuitive or not.[citation needed] In this view, the only way to judge the success of hypothesis is empirical tests. To use an example from Milton Friedman, if a theory that says that the behavior of the leaves of a tree is explained by their rationality passes the empirical test, it is seen as successful.
However, it may not be possible to empirically test or falsify the rationality assumption, so that the theory leans heavily toward being a tautology (true by definition) since there is no effort to explain individual goals. Nonetheless, empirical tests can be conducted on some of the results derived from the models. In recent years the theoretical vision of rational choice theory has been subject to more and more doubt by the experimental results of behavioral economics. This criticism has encouraged many social scientists to utilize concepts of bounded rationality to replace the "absolute" rationality of rational choice theory: this points to the difficulties of data-processing and decision-making associated with many choices in economics, political science, and sociology. More economists these days are learning from other fields, such as psychology, in order to get a more accurate view of human decision-making than offered by rational choice theory. For example, the behavioral economist and experimental psychologist Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his work in this field.
Because of the relative success of economics at understanding markets, rational choice theory has also become increasingly employed in social sciences other than economics, such as sociology and political science in recent decades. It has had far-reaching impacts on the study of political science, especially in fields like the study of interest groups, elections, behaviour in legislatures, coalitions, and bureaucracy. Models that rely on rational choice theory often adopt methodological individualism, the assumption that social situations or collective behaviors are the result of individual actions alone, with no role for larger institutions. The poor fit between this and sociological conception of social situations partially explains the theory's limited use in sociology. Among other things, sociology's emphasis on the determination of individual tastes and perspectives by social institutions often conflicts with rational choice theory's methodological assumption that tastes and perspectives are given and static.

This is an excerpt from the article Rational actor model from the Wikipedia free encyclopedia. A list of authors is available at Wikipedia.
The article Rational actor model at en.wikipedia.org was accessed 102 times in the last 30 days. (as of: 11/09/2013)
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Foreign policy analysis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
3.1 Rational actor model; 3.2 Bureaucratic Politics Model; 3.3 Organizational Process Model; 3.4 Other models. 4 Institutions; 5 Notes and references; 6 External ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_policy_analysis
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Rational choice theory - Wikipedia, the…
Rational choice theory, also known as choice theory or rational action theory, is a framework for understanding and often formally modeling social and economic behavior.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_choice_theory
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Introduction to International Relations Lecture 3: The Rational Actor ...
Apr 19, 2005 ... Lecture 3: The Rational actor model. Professor Branislav L. Slantchev. Department of Political Science, University of California – San Diego.
slantchev.ucsd.edu/courses/ps12/03-rational-decision-making.pdf
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Why the Rational Actor Model Doesn't Work…
The Rational actor model makes four key assumptions that would guide logical policy decisions if they weren't sidelined by groupthink and other subjective factors.
voices.yahoo.com/why-rational-actor-model-doesnt-work-foreign-6796430.html
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Decision Making Models - Faculty - Union County College
Rational Actor Decision Making Model. Assumptions: The international environment determines state actions. All foreign policy decision-makers are essentially ...
faculty.ucc.edu/egh-damerow/decision_making_models.htm
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The Rational Actor Model - OoCities
Dec 6, 2002 ... (15) These assumptions help key in on the foundation of the RAM, which is that the actors are rational. This model only looks at the individual in ...
www.oocities.org/eric731/The_Eric_Papers/rational.htm
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Foreign Policy Analysis and Rational Choice Models - The ...
choice models. What is a Rational actor model? Although the rational actor perspective on foreign policy has been around for several decades (some early ...
www.isacompss.com/info/samples/foreignpolicyanalysisandrationalchoicemodels_sample.pdf
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Allison's Three Models of Foreign Policy Analysis - Academia.edu
Beginning with Allison's three models: Rational actor model: Model I; Organisational Behaviour Model: Model II; Governmental politics Model: Model III , and ...
www.academia.edu/592889/Making_a_Difference_Allisons_Three_Models_of_Foreign_Policy_Analysis
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Model I: The Rational Actor - Department of Political Science
or governments is the trademark of the Rational actor model. As it is exemplified in academic literature, policy papers, the press, and informal conversations, ...
www.polsci.wvu.edu/faculty/hauser/PS493V/3-graham_model1-0.pdf
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Rational Actors or Rational Fools: Implications of the Affect ...
Rational Actors or Rational Fools? Implications of the Affect Heuristic for Behavioral Economics by Paul Slovic,1 Melissa L. Finucane,2 Ellen Peters,1 and Donald G ...
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Rational choice theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For rational choice theory as applied to criminology, see Rational choice ... Gary Becker was an early proponent of applying Rational actor models more widely. ..... Foundations of Rational Choice Under Risk", Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Essay: Rational-Actor Model | CBD
Apr 19, 2013 ... Written as a first year studying at the University of St Andrews Course: Foreign Policy Analysis and International Security Mark: First (18) “We ...
4 - The Rational Actor Model - University Publishing Online
In this chapter, we look at models and approaches to FPDM that proceed from rational actor assumptions. We examine the expected utility model of war and ...
[PDF]Introduction to International Relations Lecture 3: The Rational Actor ...
Apr 19, 2005 ... Department of Political Science, University of California – San Diego ... Rational actor model: the actors, their environment, and the outcomes.
Allison's Three Models of Foreign Policy Analysis - Academia.edu
Beginning with Allison's three models: Rational actor model: Model I; Organisational Behaviour ..... Northern Illinois University Press: Illinois Krasner, Stephen.
[PDF]Foreign Policy Analysis and Rational Choice Models - The ...
New York University/Stanford University. [email address] ... With that in mind, I begin with what the Rational actor model is not before explaining briefly what it is.
[PDF]Rational Actor Models in Political Science Vani K. Borooah ...
School of Economics and Politics, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey BT37 0QB , ... theory; Rational actor models; positive political economy; the economic ...
Behavioral Biology, the Rational Actor Model, and the New Feminist ...
May 7, 2007 ... Behavioral Biology, the Rational actor model, and the New Feminist Agenda ... University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law ...
[PDF]Rational Choice Theory - Department of Sociology
theory is known as rational choice theory, and its application to social interaction takes the form ... that they have about the conditions under which they are acting. ..... Since 1994 he has been Professor of Sociology at the University of. Essex ...
Books on the term Rational actor model
Understanding Foreign Policy Decision Making
Understanding Foreign Policy Decision Making
Alex Mintz, Karl DeRouen Jr, 2010
In this chapter, we look at models and approaches to FPDM that proceed from rational actor assumptions. We examine the expected utility model of war and some game-theoretic models such as the Prisoner's Dilemma, Chicken Game, and ...
Insurgency in the Hood: Understanding Insurgencies Through Urban Gangs
Insurgency in the Hood: Understanding Insurgencies Through Urban Gangs
Edward Evans and James Spies, 2012
Past, current and future military endeavors will invariably involve conflict at the sub-state level. A recurring problem in the study of insurgent conflict is a lack of data that has the breadth, depth, and historical accuracy to provide insight as to why, at the individual level, people participate in insurgency. Accessibility to street gangs prov...
Game Theory Evolving: A Problem-Centered Introduction to ...
Game Theory Evolving: A Problem-Centered Introduction to ...
Herbert Gintis, 2009
2.5 The Scientific Status of the Rational actor model The extent to which the Rational actor model is supported by the facts is dealt with extensively in Gintis ( 2009), so I give only a brief overview of the issues here. The three principles of ...
Strategy: A History
Strategy: A History
Lawrence Freedman, 2013
"Magisterial... wide-ranging erudition and densely packed argument." --The Economist"This is a book of startling scope, erudition and, more than anything, wisdom." --Financial Times"Comprehensive, vigorous survey of strategy and its evolution...A lucid text that raises questions while answering others-of great value to plan...
World Politics in the 21st Century: Student Choice Edition
World Politics in the 21st Century: Student Choice Edition
W. Raymond Duncan, Barbara Jancar-Webster, Bob Switky, 2008
The Rational-actor Perspective The rational-actor model focuses on the state as the key unit of analysis—and inter-state relations as the setting for analysis. Figure 5.3 depicts this model. In this model, the state is viewed from the perspective of ...
A Dynamic Model for Political Stakeholders: Forecasting the Actions and Relationships of Lebanese Hizbullah With...
A Dynamic Model for Political Stakeholders: Forecasting the Actions and Relationships of Lebanese Hizbullah With...
Aaron D. Burciaga, 2012
This thesis develops a decision theoretic model rooted in Markov decision process theory to provide military and diplomacy decision makers with insights regarding the interests and potential strategies of Lebanese Hizbullah. State trees are used to capture the interests and actions of Lebanese Hizbullah and other relevant countries, political organ...
Corporations, Crime and Accountability
Corporations, Crime and Accountability
Brent Fisse, John Braithwaite, 1993
While some useful insights emerge from these models, they are unrealistic in many respects. The Rational actor model The Rational actor model depicts human entities as rational agents who seek to maximise their self-preferences.48 In some ...
Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases
Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases
Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield and Tim Dunne, 2012
Offering a balanced view of IR theory and real-world practice, Foreign Policy, Second Edition, provides an engaging introduction to this dynamic and evolving field. Featuring contributions from an international group of experts, it opens with a consideration of different theoretical and historical perspectives and then goes on to cover such timely ...
Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy
Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy
Glenn P. Hastedt, 2009
rational-actor decision-making model 411 West Germany would be integrated in the NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION (NATO) and gain access to NUCLEAR WEAPONs. To forestall this in 1958 he embraced the 1957 plan put ...
Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation
Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation
Dan Fagin, 2013
“A thrilling journey through the twists and turns of cancer epidemiology, Toms River is essential reading for our times. Dan Fagin handles topics of great complexity with the dexterity of a scholar, the honesty of a journalist, and the dramatic skill of a novelist.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Emperor of All...
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Blog posts on the term
Rational actor model
Jeff Weintraub: Congressman Stutzman and the "rational actor" model
Does anyone really take the so-called "rational actor" model seriously (except, perhaps, in a form so hedged and non-committal as to render it vacuously tautological)? That question often occurs to me. (For example, it comes to mind whenever someone confidently, but implausibly, predicts what some foreign government definitely will or won't do because its leaders are allegedly "rational actors"—which, even if it happened to be true, would tell us nothing substantive.
jeffweintraub.blogspot.com/2013/10/congressman-stutzman-and-rational-actor.html
Superman and the Rational Actor Model | Legal Planet
Via Jeff Weintraub. Contrary to popular belief on the right, this version of Superman does not resemble Paul Ryan physically. Only morally....
legal-planet.org/2012/03/20/superman-and-the-rational-actor-model/
Is North Korea a Rational Actor? The Wrong and Right Questions to Ask | Sino-NK
Is North Korea a Rational Actor? The Wrong and Right Questions to Ask By Morgan Potts | December 05, 2013 | 3 Comments A float at the military parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the armistice agreement last July, Pyongyang. As Kenneth Waltz ardently defended, little matters to the state other than survival, a natural consequence of the structure of the international system.
sinonk.com/2013/12/05/is-north-korea-a-rational-actor-the-wrong-and-right-questions-to-ask/
Cheap alphabetical essay topics: Rational Actor Model
Within the thinking(prenominal) operator model, the foundation of which is based more or less the classicist belief that criminal behaviour is a social occasion of conscious choice, exists 3 theories, viz. modern disincentive theories, apt choice theories and routine activities scheme.
cheap-alphabetical-essay-topics.blogspot.com/2013/10/rational-actor-model.html
RealClearWorld - Is Iran a Lunatic State or a Rational Actor? Neither
www.realclearworld.com/articles/2013/10/14/is_iran_a_lunatic_state_or_a_rational_actor_neither_105515.html
The Fog of Organizations
Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis There are very few professionals in any field who wouldn’t benefit by reading Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow’s classic, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (ensure you get the updated second edition; all parenthetical cites below refer to this edition). While their titular case and main concern is in the realm of national security decision-making, the book is really more of a synthesis of the literature on international relationships, game and decision theory, some degree of economic theory on preferences and the firm, and organizational culture and behavior.
warontherocks.com/2013/12/the-fog-of-organizations/
Military Decision-Making in Pakistan | International Strategic and Security Studies Programme l NIAS l India
isssp.in/military-decision-making-in-pakistan/
The Failure of the Self-Interested Actor Model | The American Spectator
Today, Reid Smith in his column on Mark Sanford presented the “public choice” model of explaining politicians’ behavior. It draws on the principle, from economics, that rational individuals will make choices based on their own self-interest. In an unfortunate turn of events, the Behavioralism movement that was birthed in the 1930s took root in political theory during the 1960s. Behavioralism loved rational choice theory. Theorists tried their damnedest to explain the behavior of human beings by focusing in on rational self-interest. It’s all crap. Human beings are not rational, self-interested actors. Emotion clouds everything and decisions are never made in a vacuum. This is why game theory sometimes fails at the poker table: human beings imperfections.
spectator.org/blog/53670/failure-self-interested-actor-model
The Jewish Press » » Iran: Neither Lunatic State Nor Rational Actor, But Rational Aggressor
Iran is a rational actor in terms of its own objectives.
www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/iran-neither-lunatic-state-nor-rational-actor-but-rational-aggressor/2013/10/07/
refuting the extreme rational actor model – evidence from survey prepayment | orgtheory.net
This post is another criticism of extreme economic models of human behavior, where people act selfishly and only respond to rewards and punishments. You may think that this is a bizarre model, but it's the default model in a lot of economic analyses. For example, when analyzing voting, the economic prediction is that no one…
orgtheory.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/refuting-the-extreme-rational-actor-model-evidence-from-survey-prepayment/
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