Bizarre beliefs and rational choices: A behavioral approach to analytic narratives

  • Schiemann J
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Rational choice analytic narratives claim to take seriously the way real actors form their beliefs. I argue that a commonly applied formal technique2014perfect Bayesian equilibrium2014inadequately accounts for realistic beliefs, unnecessarily impoverishing analytic narratives. I propose an equilibrium concept drawn from cognitive psychology2014support theory equilibrium2014that provides an accurate account of beliefs within a formal analytic narrative approach. I ground both the critique and the alternative in a discussion of ethnic mobilization in Yugoslavia. The result is a behaviorally informed analytic narrative that offers a more accurate account of the role of real2014including bizarre2014beliefs in strategic interaction.

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  • John W. Schiemann

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