A Cognitive Framework for the Social Sciences

34 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2018

See all articles by James Caton

James Caton

North Dakota State University - Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics; American Institute for Economic Research; North Dakota State University - NDSU Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise

Edward J. Lopez

Western Carolina University

Date Written: November 1, 2018

Abstract

Using philosopher John Searle’s framework as developed by Guala and Hindriks and by Caton and López, we propose a cognitive framework for economic and social theory. Searle’s status function provides a grounding for a description of agent preferences. Agent preferences reflect valuations implied in the status function and are revealed as agents interact with the environment according to rules of behavior they have adopted. We consider how changes in belief, reflected in changes to status functions and rules, transform incentives and how incentives reinforce particular beliefs. We then apply the framework to an interpretation of history and to the construction and interpretation of an agent-based model comprised of agents who employ a dynamic structure of rules to guide interpretation and behavior.

Suggested Citation

Caton, James and Lopez, Edward J., A Cognitive Framework for the Social Sciences (November 1, 2018). NDSU Public Choice and Private Enterprise Research Paper No. 18-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3285415 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3285415

James Caton (Contact Author)

North Dakota State University - Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics ( email )

Fargo, ND 58105
United States

American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

North Dakota State University - NDSU Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise

811 2nd Ave N.
Fargo, ND 58102
United States

Edward J. Lopez

Western Carolina University ( email )

College of Business
Forsyth 224C
Cullowhee, NC 28723
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.edwardjlopez.com

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