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We-thinking and vacillation between frames: filling a gap in Bacharach's theory

Smerilli, Alessandra (2010): We-thinking and vacillation between frames: filling a gap in Bacharach's theory.

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Abstract

The idea of team-thinking or we-thinking is increasingly drawing the attention of economists. The main claim of scholars who analyze we-thinking is that it is a coherent mode of reasoning people may use when they face a decision problem. But, if there is a general agreement on the existence of the we-mode of reasoning and on the fact people endorse it, scholars have different opinions about the way in which we-thinking arises and how it brings people to behave in a particular way. Then different authors have proposed different analyses of the issue. In this paper I address the issue by proposing a simple model of vacillation between the I and we-modes of reasoning, as a way in which we-thinking can arise in the face of a decision problem. The model is based on a not fully developed intuition - the double-crossing problem in the PD game - of Bacharach, whose theory is the most developed from an analytical point of view.

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