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Journal Article

How Rational We?

Amitai Etzioni
Sociological Forum
Vol. 2, No. 1 (Winter, 1987), pp. 1-20
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/684525
Page Count: 20
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How Rational We?
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Abstract

How rational people are is a question of interest to social sciences, public policy, and all educated persons. The answer depends, in part, on how widely or narrowly one defines the term. Wide definitions tend to make the term tautological. By narrow definitions, the recent evidence that people act rationally is not overwhelming and evidence that they frequently act on impulse or out of habit, considerable. This points to a binary approach, one that will take into account both kinds of behavior. The specific ways the two approaches may be combined are beginning to be discerned.

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