سیمون بلندمرتبه : چشم اندازی سازگار از برنده جایزه نوبل روان شناسی اقتصادی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|4971||2001||28 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10871 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Economic Psychology, Volume 22, Issue 3, June 2001, Pages 307–334
This essay contains a study of some of Herbert Simon's ideas, with particular emphasis on the role of bounded rationality in Simon's thinking and his contributions to economics and psychology. I describe Simon's visions for challenging rational choice theory, through limited rationality, and for bringing psychology into economics, putting this in perspective by describing the evolution of some of this thoughts, focusing on the continuity in his work.
Herbert Simon died on 9 February 2001, aged 84. The first draft of this article was prepared shortly before his unexpected death and the present version is offered, with great sadness, as tribute to him. It combines a review of Simon's career where this related to the economics and psychology interface, and a review of his most recent book An Empirically Based Microeconomics (1997, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, XI, 223 pages. Cloth, $59.95, ISBN: 0-521-62412-6). This combination serves to illustrate the remarkable continuity in his work and his consistent interest in the relationship between economics and psychology. Simon is a key figure in the history of 20th century social sciences and his work has had lasting effects upon economics, psychology, organization theory, political science, management research, computer science, cognitive science, as well as other fields. In this essay, I focus on Simon's attempt to bring psychology into economics and into the understanding of decision making, via the introduction of the concept of bounded rationality. From his early work and throughout his life, Simon felt that only by employing more psychological research into economic questions relating to the understanding of decision making would we be able to make empirically valid statements about human behavior. Recently, a cross-fertilization has evolved in economics and psychology that goes long way toward confirming Simon's original concerns with regard to bounded rationality and the relations between psychology and economics (Conlisk, 1996, Earl, 1990, Lewin, 1996, Lunt, 1996 and Simon, 1982b). In this literature it is recognized that rationality is essentially a psychological notion, and attempts are made to make economics more psychologically realistic. This has much in common with Simon's belief that economics, by bringing in more psychology will be able to advance its understanding of human decision making and to understand the psychological limits to rationality in economics (Simon, 1982b). Furthermore, the evolving field of economic psychology (Earl, 1990; Warneryd, 1988) emphasizes, as did Simon (1982b), the common ground of interest between economics and psychology. A detailed examination of this common ground seems likely to be advanced by examining in some detail Simon's thoughts on the interactions between economics and psychology. However, it is noteworthy that articles in this journal have paid rather little attention to Simon's work. Exceptions include Guth (2000), Lunt (1996), Wakeley (1997) and Witteloostuijn (1988). Few of these authors use more than one or two of Simon's contributions, and (with the possible exception of Lunt, 1996) have little to say about the potential of his work for the field of economic psychology. The hope that the field of economic psychology will recognize the potentials in Simon's work for their agenda is one major motivation for this essay. The second, and equally important, motivation is to show that his work is characterized by a remarkable continuity. Whereas Simon is the only Nobel Prize-winning economist who was (and was at the time of the Prize) affiliated with a psychology department, his interest continued to be much broader than disciplinary boundaries allow. His movement from the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA) to the Psychology Department at Carnegie Mellon University marked a recognition that in order to analyze human decision making it was necessary to take more psychological factors into account (see, for example, Simon, 1982b). But this did not mean a significant change in Simon's research agenda. Starting with some of his most important contributions to the behavioral analysis of rational choice (Simon, 1955 and Simon, 1956a), Simon appealed to psychology and cognitive science in order to understand how people behave and make decisions (whether it is called `decision making' or `problem solving'). Through his life, this overall research question brought him to economics, to political science, to management theory, to organization theory, to social psychology, to cognitive psychology, to organization theory, to game theory, and to computers. This essay attempts to give a historical account of some of Herbert Simon's contributions to economics and psychology, and his introduction of bounded rationality. Simon's ideas of bounded rationality have important implications on both economics and psychology. In economics, bounded rationality challenged the assumptions of neoclassical ideas on maximization; in psychology, bounded rationality has been very important in the cognitive science-critiques of behaviorism as it was used in experimental psychology (Feigenbaum, 1989; Newell, 1989a). In what follows I will draw attention to the continuity in Simon's work and argue that his better-known work in psychology, such as Human Problem Solving (Newell & Simon, 1972), was a natural extension of his earlier work on decision making (1955, 1956a) and organizational behavior (March & Simon, 1958). The next sections introduce some main themes associated with Simon, such as the need for bounded rationality and the links between economics and psychology. These discussions provide a historical frame for Simon's introduction of these significant ideas and for a discussion his latest work. Specifically, 2, 3 and 4 will describe Simon's visions for understanding human decision making, while also attempting to provide an understanding of Simon himself and the evolution of Simon's ideas. It turns out that understanding Simon is not all that simple. The fact that he crossed disciplinary boundaries in his research might lead some to conclude that Simon moved significantly, from political science, organization theory, to economics, and finally to computer science and psychology through his career (Mirowski, 2001). But I will instead suggest that Simon during the years used elements of different disciplines in order to understand the same overall problem of human decision making. Following his research question on how to understand human behavior, Simon crossed disciplinary boundaries and used different theoretical tools for addressing different parts of the overall problem. My basic conclusion is that a substantial part of Simon's work over the past 50 years can be seen as reflecting his continuous interest in the science of decision making. Furthermore, his contributions to computer science and artificial intelligence can be seen as a natural extension of his economics and organization theory research and they are centered on the same overall problem, despite the disciplinary boundaries. I will illustrate this by reviewing his latest book in Section 5 and discuss Simon's views on the evolution of some ideas central in economics, before summarizing my discussions in the conclusion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Simon reports in autobiography that he began his class in 1956 with the statement, referring to a discovery made on December 16, 1955: `Over the Christmas holiday, Newell and I invented a thinking machine' (1991b, p. 206). His students were puzzled and some went home with the computer manual that Simon handed out, studying all night (Feigenbaum, 1989, p. 166). To those who experienced this, it was an `unforgettable moment' (Feigenbaum, 1989), and Simon's statement about thinking machines and his subsequent research led to important, and controversial developments in artificial intelligence, economics, psychology and cognitive science (McCorduck, 1979). Keeping in mind that the statement was made by someone who was educated in political science, with training in economics and in theories of organizations, makes it even more remarkable. But whereas this may sound as beginning of subsequent movement between disciplines, Herbert Simon and his vision proved that it was instead fruitful interdisciplinary thinking, designed to elaborate on ideas of bounded rationality. For Simon's research was directed more by problems that he wanted to solve, than by disciplines. The problems he was focusing on were the problems of how we understand reasoned human action and decision making, and how such decisions are occasionally organized in organizations. In this essay I have in particular discussed his ideas on bounded rationality and some of its effects on his work in economics and psychology. Simon's interest in the limitations on human rationality were already clear in his early work, such as Administrative Behavior and Public Administration, but it was in two essays written in the mid 1950s that he really tried to introduce the idea of limited rationality to emphasize the need for psychological ideas in economics. In Organizations, Simon, together with James March, discussed the effects of bounded rationality upon organizational behavior, and he continued expanding and elaborating the idea that human agents are, although intending to make rational decisions, bounded by their limited ability to process information in his later work, such as Human Problem Solving. The inquiry into how people make decisions and solve problems as part of their daily behavior is the center of his work – in economics, organization theory, psychology. A look at Simon's latest book in economics provided an example of the extent to which his work over the years represent a consistent elaboration of the idea that the limits to rationality matter, in particular the limits to cognitive processing, be it decision making or problem solving. As his long-time collaborator, Allen Newell, noted: `Everything that Simon has done has stemmed from the working out of this idea' (1989a, p. 400). Simon's intellectual legacy not only constitutes a remarkable basis and pioneering work for understanding human behavior, using elements from different disciplines; it also leaves plenty of food for thought for further developments within economics and psychology, and perhaps also the field of economic psychology itself.