Schelling's Game Theory: How to Make Decisions

By Robert V. Dodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
Interaction Models

Social interaction involving groups is sometimes easy to understand when all the participants behave as if they were a collective individual, as at sports events where fans are cheering for one team or the other, or at political rallies where all are exhibiting a common candidate preference. But often individuals make decisions in response to the environment they perceive or anticipate, and in doing so alter that environment, for example when different racial groups enter previously segregated neighborhoods, or when people in poor health join insurance groups that had covered people without known health risks. In these cases individual choices might influence choices made by other individuals and alter the group status. It is useful to understand the group dynamics of such cases.

To explain how individual decisions operate in the aggregate, when they are combined with the decisions of others making related decisions, Schelling wrote a book entitled Micromotives and Macrobehavior.1 Micromotives are the individual’s decisions, and the macrobehavior is the resulting conduct of the many decisions in the aggregate. Schelling’s book features easily understood models, or social studies constructs, that demonstrate the underlying features of many such situations.

Models simplify situations by embodying the relationships involved in some transparent manner and make the phenomenon that is taking place more easily recognized. They may help make aggregate behavior easier to predict and to encourage good outcomes or prevent negative ones. The outcomes of aggregate decisions may not always reflect individual preferences, though policy planners sometimes assume that they do. Is the fact that segregated neighborhoods continue to exist proof that people are prejudiced or desire to live in segregated neighborhoods? It would be jumping to an unsubstantiated conclusion to make such an assumption based on the result of existing segregation alone, as a Schelling model presented in Chapter 18 will demonstrate.

Models in social science are often “first approximations” presenting a simple underlying structure for a situation that can be elaborated on to represent more accurately what one hopes to understand. A block of wood sliding across the floor could be a first approximation model for an automobile. The first approximation model of a national economy might be presented as a formula that illustrates the interaction of consumption, government spending, investment, and net exports. This basic national economy model can be elaborated on to include more and more factors,

-101-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Schelling's Game Theory: How to Make Decisions
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 292

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.