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Is rational choice theory still a rational choice of theory?: A response to Opp
GEMASS–CNRS & University of Paris-Sorbonne.
2013 (English)In: Social Science Information, ISSN 0539-0184, E-ISSN 1461-7412, Vol. 52, no 3, p. 361-382Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Authoritative rational choice theorists continue to argue that wide variants of rational choice theory should be regarded as the best starting-point to formulate theoretical hypotheses on the micro foundations of complex macro-level social dynamics. Building on recent writings on neo-classical rational choice theory, on behavioral economics and on cognitive psychology, the present article challenges this view and argues that: (1) neo-classical rational choice theory is an astonishingly malleable and powerful analytical device whose descriptive accuracy is nevertheless limited to a very specific class of choice settings; (2) the ‘wide’ sociological rational choice theory does not add anything original to the neo-classical framework on a conceptual level and it is also methodologically weaker; (3) at least four alternative action-oriented approaches that reject portrayal of actors as computational devices operating over probability distributions can be used to design sociological explanations that are descriptively accurate at the micro level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2013. Vol. 52, no 3, p. 361-382
National Category
Sociology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-148771DOI: 10.1177/0539018413488477OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-148771DiVA, id: diva2:1220759
Available from: 2018-06-19 Created: 2018-06-19 Last updated: 2018-06-19

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Manzo, Gianluca
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