'Trojan Horse' Teaching in Economic Behavior

14 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2004

See all articles by Alexander N. Poddiakov

Alexander N. Poddiakov

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow)

Date Written: November 30, 2004


Development of individuals, social groups and societies is considered under the influence of two opposite and interrelated types of social interactions: (a) support of, and (b) counteraction and inhibition of learning, instruction, education and development. The latter type of social interaction is illustrated by an advanced strategic behavior, which we term, Trojan horse teaching. In this type of counteractive behavior, a teacher, ostensibly helping his or her rival to learn something, really teaches the rival useless or disadvantageous things. This interaction is an object of interdisciplinary research related to the theory of human capital, the theory of agency, knowledge management, the theory of conflict, and to social and educational psychology.

Economic reasons for Trojan horse teaching (THT) have been considered. It has been shown that THT can be interpreted in the context of moral hazard, which relates to attempts to influence the human capital of others by using strategic disorientation in teaching. The concepts of perfect teaching/learning technologies, and a qualitative model of competitive relations between teachers and learners, have been introduced.

Results of experiential studies, including the administration of a survey concerning people's beliefs about teaching with evil intent, and a set of experiments with participation of adults and children, have been described. The studies show that the metaphoric rule to give a rod, not a fish, often declared in education, can be understood and applied in different ways, depending on a person's attitude to another person and the competition between them. The significance of strategic thinking and of the independent exploratory activity for the protection from THT is underlined. Both negative and positive effects of counteraction to development, and some possible trends, have been discussed.

Keywords: Economic behavior, human capital, teaching, learning, competition, conflict, deceiving, Trojan horse teaching, damage

JEL Classification: C9, D8, I21, J24, M53

Suggested Citation

Poddiakov, Alexander N., 'Trojan Horse' Teaching in Economic Behavior (November 30, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=627432 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.627432

Alexander N. Poddiakov (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow) ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017

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