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On apparent irrational behaviors : interacting structures and the mind

Gosselin, Pierre and Lotz, Aileen and Wambst, Marc (2013): On apparent irrational behaviors : interacting structures and the mind.

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Abstract

We develop a general method to solve models of interactions between multiple agents, including the possibility of strategic advantage for some of them. We argue that this type of model applies to the description of apparently irrational or biased behaviors in a person whose action is the resultant of several rational structures with di�erent goals. Our main example is a three agents model, denoted "conscious", "unconscious", and "body". Our principal result is that, for an agent whose "unconscious" goals differ from the conscious ones, the unconscious may in uence the conscious either directly, or indirectly via a third agent, the body and its needs. This three agent model allows the description of behaviors such as craving, excessive smoking, or sleepiness, to delay or dismiss a task. One of the main result stands in the fact that the unconscious agent's strategic action depends crucially on whether the conscious' actions ("task" and "feeding") are complementary in time. When they are complementary, and if the conscious is not sensitive to unconscious' messages, the unconscious may drive the conscious towards its goals by blurring physical needs. When they are not complementary, the unconscious may more easily reach his goal by influencing the conscious, be it directly or indirectly.

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