Last problem was 0480 (HELP)
Q171. A common phrase to describe processes in which people engage in imitative behavior is "bandwagon effect." Explain the appropriateness of this metaphor.
Q172. Consider this data on the thresholds in a population. Draw a frequency histogram and cumulative frequency diagram. If news reports suggest participation will be at 20 people, how many people's threshold is met or exceeded? How about if the number is 70?
Q173. Consider this data on the thresholds in a population. Draw a frequency histogram and cumulative frequency diagram. If news reports suggest participation will be at 20 people, how many people's threshold is met or exceeded? How about if the number is 70?
Q174. Consider this data on the thresholds in a population. Draw a frequency histogram and cumulative frequency diagram. How does this system behave when the expected number is 10? 20? 50? 60? 90?
Q175. Consider this data on the thresholds in a population. Draw a frequency histogram and cumulative frequency diagram. Plot the cumulative distribution on a chart with a 45 degree line.
Q193. In "Cosmos & Taxis" Friedrich von Hayek distinguishes two kinds of order. What does he call them? What are some synonyms for his terms? Demonstrate your understanding of the difference by giving examples of social order of each type.
Q196. Explain this table:
Q197. Explain and give an example of a dominant strategy in a prisoner's dilemma game.
Q198. What is "tit-for-tat" and why, according to Robert Axelrod, is it so effective?
Q199. In the November 2012 general elections some sitting members of congress and the senate failed in their re-election effort and some opted not to run for re-election. After the election we describe those who are still in office but won't be in January as "lame ducks." Drawing on theoretical ideas and empirical ideas in the work of Robert Axelrod, make some predictions of how the dynamics of voting and deal making might be different during a lame duck session.
Q200. One of the most important concepts coming out of market, rational choice, and game theory models is "equilibrium." What do we mean by an equilibrium in game theory? Give an example and explain what we would mean if we said "get caught in a bad equilibrium."
Q201. (1) Explain what 'the allegory of the dying seminar' was in Thomas Schelling's work. (2) What (incorrect) conclusion about human behavior might observers draw from the dying seminar? (3) What other examples of this phenomenon does Schelling offer? (4) What generic phenomenon are these all examples of?
Q208. Explicate and comment:
One of our main contentions will be that very complex orders, comprising more particular facts than any brain could ascertain or manipulate, can be brought about only through forces inducing the formation of spontaneous orders (Hayek 1976: 143.5).
Q209. Explicate and comment.
The distinction of this kind of order from one which has been made by somebody putting the elements of a set in their places or directing their movements is indispensable for any understanding of the processes of society as well as for all social policy. There are several terms available for describing each kind of order. The made order which we have already referred to as an exogenous order or an arrangement may again be described as a construction, an artificial order or, especially where we have to deal with a directed social order, as an organization. The grown order, on the other hand, which we have referred to as a self-generating or endogenous order, is in English mosts conveniently described as a spontaneous order (Hayek 1976: 142.1-3).
Q211. Explicate and comment:
To put this differently: in a social order the particular circumstances to which each individual will react will be those known to him. But the individual responses to particular circumstances will result in an overall order only if the individuals obey such rules as will produce and order. Even a very limited similarity in their behavior may be sufficient if the rules which they all obey are such as to produce an order. Such an order will always constitute an adaptation to the multitude of circumstances which are known to all the members of that society taken together but which are not known as a whole to any one person (Hayek 1976: 147.7).
Q214. Explicate and comment:
Akerlof generalized this model to a number of markets in which there is unequal information on the two sides - insurance companies know less than you do, usually, about whether you are accident prone, or susceptible to hereditary diseases, or are contemplating suicide. Life insurance rates for sixty-five-year-olds must allow for a large fraction who are not long for this world. And those who know they are healthy and have a family history of longevity and are exposed to few risks have to pay the same premium as the poorer risks; life insurance being unattractive [to them] at that price, few of them buys it. The average life expectancy of the customers goes down, the rates go up further, and the bargain now looks poor even to those of normal life expectancy. And so forth.
…. It is akin to, and sometimes coincides with, those situations in which the below average, or the above average, withdraw or won't join, causing some potential market or institution to unravel. Because people vary and because averages matter, there may be no sustainable critical mass; and the unraveling behavior, or initial failure to get the activity going at all, has much the appearance of a critical mass that is almost but not quite achieved (Schelling 1978: 159.5-7).
Q217. Sociologists and anthropologists gripe endlessly about rational actor models, failing, over and over again, to understand that they are MODELS, not descriptions. Explicate and comment on this passage to show that you understand what the value of a model like prisoner's dilemma is for social theory.
The Cooperation Theory that is presented…is based upon an investigation of individuals who pursue their own self-interest without the aid of a central authority to force them to cooperate with each other. The reason for assuming self-interest is that it allows an examination of the difficult case in which cooperation is not completely based upon a concern for others or upon the welfare of the group as a whole. It must, however, be stressed that this assumption is actually much less restrictive than it appears. … So the assumption of self interest is really just an assumption that concern for others does not completely solve the problem of when to cooperate with them and when not to (Axelrod 1984: 177.2).
Q218. Explicate and comment:
The result was another victory for TIT FOR TAT! The analysis of the data from these tournaments reveals four properties which tend to make a decision rule successful: avoidance of unnecessary conflict by cooperating as long as the other player does, provocability in the face of an uncalled for defection by the other, forgiveness after responding to a provocation, and clarity of behavior so that the other player can adapt to your pattern of action.
These results from the tournaments demonstrate that under suitable conditions, cooperation can indeed emerge in a world of egoists without central authority (Axelrod 1984: 184.5).
Q234. Hayek is sometimes taken to be saying that the modern world throws up problems that are too complex to be handled by planning and policy making. Some things can be handled that way, but big and complex things cannot. What are the differences between the two types of order and the limitations and possibilities Hayek suggests each has and how does he get from there to social order?
Q235. Schelling’s piece, “Micromotives, Macrobehaviors,” is included because it demonstrates some specific conditions under which market interactions may lead to coordination but not cooperation. What are his two examples and what are the conditions that can affect whether market interactions lead to cooperation? Explain the role they play, perhaps using our class chairs and offices simulation as a point of reference, in limiting the optimism of Smith and Hayek for markets as a source of social order.
Q236. In a prisoner’s dilemma game, the rational thing for both players is to defect. This makes mutual defection an equilibrium, though it is not a preferred one (the collective would be better off with another outcome). In other words, in a single game of prisoner’s dilemma, cooperation is “impossible.” But cooperation does happen in the world.
Demonstrate your understanding of Axelrod's ideas by describing the mechanism and conditions under which this can happen without assuming anything “social” about the agents.
Explain how this works and how it adds to or modifies Smith’s and Hayek’s story about how markets can be a source of social order.
Q411. What is Axelerod's fundamental question in "The Evolution of Cooperation"? It has four parts.
Q412. Explain the basic idea of the prisoner's dilemma.
Q419. What does Hayek mean by "teleological shorthand"?
The use of “purposive" in this sense as a sort of ‘teleological shorthand’, as it has been called by biologists, is unobjectionable so long as we do not imply an awareness of purpose on the part of the elements, but mean merely that the elements have acquired regularities of conduct conducive to the maintenance of the order — presumably because those who did act in certain ways had within the resulting order a better chance of survival than those who did not." (143.9)
Q422. What do we mean saying that Axelrod is trying to discover the conditions in which cooperation can emerge?