Ash Social Self Interest

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This is exactly the model used by Jones (1984) to explain workplace conformity. Many further applications are suggested by the theory of relational choice: to fads, fashions, crowd and herd behaviour. Economic theory often gives the disarmingly naïve impression that market segmentation is a simple matter of passively exploiting existing geographic or demographic segments with an appropriate discriminatory pricing policy. In fact, market segmentation is an active, complex process. Segments of relatively homogeneous consumers must first be created, then targeted with a specific product or promotional appeal.

Akerlof (1980) A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May Be One Consequence, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 94, pp. 749-775. M. Argyle (1994) The Psychology of Interpersonal Behaviour, (5e) London: Penguin Books, pp. 204-208. M. Argyle, M. Martin and J. P. M. Innes (eds) Recent Advances in Social Psychology, Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers, pp. 189-203. Reprinted in M. Argyle (ed) (1993) Experiments in Social Interaction, Aldershot: Dartmouth, pp. 213-228. B. : Rutgers University.

They are not instrumental. However, 37 because of the risk of adverse instrumental outcomes, agents only offer primary relationships on certain terms and conditions. Whether or not these supply prices are accepted depends on the social-self-interest of the tentative partner: crudely, does the intrinsic benefit of the relationship exceed the cost of these constraints? In these emotionally rich but entirely rational relationships, the rules, obligations, procedures, norms etc. are also the product of rational choice.

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