Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Rationality versus program-based behavior

Geoffrey M. Hodgson a1
a1 Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, The Business School, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, United Kingdom.

Article author query
hodgson gm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


For Herbert Gintis, the “rational actor,” or “beliefs, preferences, and constraints (BPC),” model is central to his unifying framework for the behavioral sciences. It is not argued here that this model is refuted by evidence. Instead, this model relies ubiquitously on auxiliary assumptions, and is evacuated of much meaning when applied to both human and nonhuman organisms. An alternative perspective of “program-based behavior” is more consistent with evolutionary principles.

(Published Online April 27 2007)