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A Behavioral Theory of Elections$
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Jonathan Bendor, Daniel Diermeier, David A. Siegel, and Michael M. Ting

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135076

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135076.001.0001

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Aspiration-based Adaptive Rules

Aspiration-based Adaptive Rules

(p.23) Chapter Two Aspiration-based Adaptive Rules
A Behavioral Theory of Elections

Jonathan Bendor

Daniel Diermeier

David A. Siegel

Michael M. Ting

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses some general properties of aspiration-based adaptive rules (ABARs). It begins with an overview of propensity and aspiration-based adjustment, using axioms to represent three premises: agents have aspirations, they compare payoffs to aspirations, and these comparisons determine the key qualitative properties of how agents adjust their action propensities. It then considers stochastic processes such as Markov chains before turning to some useful types of ABARs, along with realistic aspirations and how the behavior and performance of ABARs are associated with the existence of relations of Pareto dominance among alternatives. It also examines the empirical content of ABAR-driven models and concludes with an analysis of some evidence regarding aspiration-based adaptation, paying attention to behavior and hedonics.

Keywords:   aspiration-based adaptive rule, propensity, aspiration-based adjustment, aspirations, stochastic process, Markov chain, Pareto dominance, aspiration-based adaptation, behavior, hedonics

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