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NCJ Number: 250894 Find in a Library
Title: Unfamiliar Psychologies: Applications of Behavioral Science Not Commonly Used in Economics Option Awareness: The Psychology of What We Consider
Journal: American Economic Review  Volume:106  Issue:5  Dated:May 2016  Pages:425-429
Author(s): A. K. Shah; J. Ludwig
Date Published: May 2016
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Grant Sponsored); Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Since the standard economic view of behavior, i.e., that people will commit an action if the expected benefits outweigh the costs, overlooks how actions come to mind before people weigh the costs, this paper develops the argument that “actions are more likely to enter into consideration when they are cognitively accessible.”
Abstract: People develop interpretations of their current context, drawing on beliefs about which behaviors are common and adaptive in the context. These beliefs are shaped by past experiences and expectations. This in turn influences which courses of action come to mind, i.e., are cognitively accessible. The main body of this paper describes how cognitive accessibility depends on three psychological parameters: “automaticity,” “identity,” and “privacy.” “Automaticity” refers to behavioral priorities that have developed over time as habits for getting what one wants. A person’s sense of “identity” (how people view themselves) also determines the parameters for the behaviors that keep that identity intact. “Privacy” refers to the sense that an option for behavior can remain hidden from others such that adverse responses to the behavior will be avoided.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Behavior; Behavior modification; Behavior patterns; Behavior typologies; Behavioral objectives; Behavioral science research; Individual behavior; National Institute of Justice (NIJ); NIJ grant-related documents
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