Models of cognition and their applications in behavioral economics: A conceptual framework for nudging derived from behavior analysis and relational frame theory
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Original versionTagliabue, M., Squatrito, V. & Presti, G. (2019). Models of cognition and their applications in behavioral economics: A conceptual framework for nudging derived from behavior analysis and relational frame theory. Frontiers in Psychology,10(2418) https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02418
This paper puts forward a rounder conceptual model for interpreting short- and long-term effects of choice behavior. As a further development of dual-process theory, Kahneman (2003) distinguished between intuition and reasoning, which served as the respective precursors of the cognitive processing systems 1 and 2. We maintain that they reflect the more rigorous distinction between brief and immediate and extended and elaborated relational responding, which may be reinterpreted through an analysis of their functional properties. Repertoires of relational responding are offered by the multi-dimensional multi-level model. Specifically, we provide a conceptual account of how nudging, or the manipulation of environmental contingencies, works on the creation and modification of relational framing. Educative nudges, or boosts, are a subset of nudges that may more easily maintain target choice behavior in the future. The central role of verbal behavior is essential toward formulating rules, which inform and guide choice behavior over time. Although nudges are traditionally regarded as System 1-steered aspects, they are herein regarded as cues for responding to relational frames, which may induce System 2-steered aspects. We suggest adopting the implicit relational assessment procedure (IRAP) to inform how coherent and immediate responding to novel relational responding may occur in the presence of choice behavior. Several examples are included to support the claim of encompassing relational responding and choice behavior. We address the instances of consumer behavior, stereotypy and prejudices, eating behavior, and overcoming cognitive biases. The conclusions depict a promising way forward for the study of choice: an improved model for interpreting and overcoming human errors, due to changes in the contingencies of behavior.