Date of Original Version

12-1983

Type

Article

Published In

Management Science, Vol. 29, No. 12 (Dec., 1983), pp. 1365-1379

Abstract or Table of Contents

This paper explores the distinction between normative and positive theoretical statements in a game theoretic context from a Bayesian perspective. Normative and positive theoretical statements are often confused in decision making research. The confusion results from some unique epistemological and methodological problems associated with cognitive behavior as an object for scientific inquiry. The confusion persists because of poor model validation procedures which are themselves further complicated by the confusion. The confusion greatly impedes the development of more useful prescriptions for and predictions of human decision behavior. From a Bayesian perspective which acknowledges the importance of incomplete information and imperfect theories of behavior, the confusion is unnecessary.

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