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1 - 1 of 1 results for: POLECON 660: Behavioral Political Economy

POLECON 660: Behavioral Political Economy

This course studies the cognitive scientific foundations of political economy. It builds on the explosion of research in cognitive psychology, evolutionary anthropology, and allied fields over the last few decades to provide perspectives on political beliefs and behavior that are not tweaks on theories of complete rationality; they are distinct ideas with their own premises of how humans think, plan, and decide. These premises do not posit that we are irrational. Such claims are wildly off the mark; they cannot explain how we have become the dominant species on this planet. Instead, they describe a clever but computationally constrained primate whose evolution, cultural as well as biological, has produced a characteristic configuration of mental software and external symbol systems (writing, numbers). The representational and computational capacities of this software and these symbol systems, combined with our unusual ability to cooperate with unrelated strangers, has in a remarkably s more »
This course studies the cognitive scientific foundations of political economy. It builds on the explosion of research in cognitive psychology, evolutionary anthropology, and allied fields over the last few decades to provide perspectives on political beliefs and behavior that are not tweaks on theories of complete rationality; they are distinct ideas with their own premises of how humans think, plan, and decide. These premises do not posit that we are irrational. Such claims are wildly off the mark; they cannot explain how we have become the dominant species on this planet. Instead, they describe a clever but computationally constrained primate whose evolution, cultural as well as biological, has produced a characteristic configuration of mental software and external symbol systems (writing, numbers). The representational and computational capacities of this software and these symbol systems, combined with our unusual ability to cooperate with unrelated strangers, has in a remarkably short time produced massive knowledge-intensive political institutions that can deploy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and can use epidemiology and molecular genetics to combat epidemics. Such achievements warrant explanations. In short, we are boundedly rational, but that's only half the story; we're also really really clever problem-solvers. This course explores theories that explain both halves in a unified way.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3
Instructors: Bendor, J. (PI)
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