Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Rationality, philosophy: rationality is the ability of a being to consciously adapt to a situation due to the generalizations of his experiences. It can also be rational to want to learn something new. See also system, order, creativity, discoveries, evaluation, repetition.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Evolutionary Psychology on Rationality - Dictionary of Arguments

Norvig I 638
Rationality/Evolutionary psychology/Norvig/Russell: There has been a recent outpouring of more-or-less popular books on human irrationality. The best known is Predictably Irrational (Ariely, 2009)(1); others include Sway (Brafman and Brafman, 2009)(2), Nudge (Thaler and Sunstein, 2009)(3), Kluge (Marcus, 2009)(4), How We Decide (Lehrer, 2009)(5) and On Being Certain (Burton, 2009)(6). They complement the classic (Kahneman et al., 1982)(7) and the article that started it all (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979)(8).
The field of evolutionary psychology (Buss, 2005)(9), on the other hand, has run counter to this literature, arguing that humans are quite rational in evolutionarily appropriate contexts. Its adherents point out that irrationality is penalized by definition in an evolutionary context and show that in some cases it is an artifact of the experimental setup (Cummins and Allen, 1998)(10).

1. Ariely, D. (2009). Predictably Irrational (Revised edition). Harper.
2. Brafman, O. and Brafman, R. (2009). Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior. Broadway
3. Thaler, R. and Sunstein, C. (2009). Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.
4. Marcus, G. (2009). Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind. Mariner Books.
5. Lehrer, J. (2009). How We Decide. Houghton Mifflin.
6. Burton, R. (2009). On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not. St. Martin’s Griffin.
7. Kahneman, D., Slovic, P., and Tversky, A. (Eds.). (1982). Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and
Biases. Cambridge University Press.
8. Kahneman, D. and Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, pp. 263–291.
9. Buss, D. M. (2005). Handbook of evolutionary psychology. Wiley.
10. Cummins, D. and Allen, C. (1998). The Evolution of Mind. Oxford University Press.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Evolutionary Psychology
Norvig I
Peter Norvig
Stuart J. Russell
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach Upper Saddle River, NJ 2010

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