Conflicts in Decision Making

Abstract En

Following Nick Baigent’s argument that one must go “behind the veil of preference” (Baigent, Jpn Econ Rev 46(1):88–101, 1995) to be able to develop a satisfactory theory of rational behaviour, we propose to analyse potential intrapersonal conflicts caused by different reasons, goals or motivations to choose one option over another, which may make the development of a coherent preference impossible. We do this by presenting an extensive, but certainly not exhaustive overview of psychological research on intrapersonal conflict, its influence on preference reversal (and hence on incoherent behaviour), on psychological well-being and on motivational and behavioural changes over time. We then briefly describe our own theory of choice under conflicting motivations (Arlegi and Teschl, Working Papers of the Department of Economics DT 1208, Public University of Navarre, 2012), which is a first attempt at putting psychological insights into intrapersonal conflict into an axiomatic economic context.

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