Breakdown of Will available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Cambridge University Press
Ainslie argues that our responses to the threat of our own inconsistency determine the basic fabric of human culture. He suggests that individuals are more like populations of bargaining agents than like the hierarchical command structures envisaged by cognitive psychologists. This perspective helps us understand so much that is puzzling in human action and interaction: from self-defeating behaviors to willfulness, from pathological over-control and self-deception to subtler forms of behavior such as altruism, sadism, gambling, and the "social construction" of belief.
Table of Contents
Preface; Part I. Breakdowns of Will: The Puzzle of Akrasia: 1. Introduction; 2. The dichotomy at the root of decision science: do we make choices by destres or by judgments?; 3. The warp in how we evaluate the future; 4. The warp can create involuntary behaviors: pains, hungers, emotions; Part II. A Breakdown of the Will: The Components of Intertemporal Bargaining: 5. The elementary interaction of interests; 6. Sophisticated bargaining among internal interests; 7. The subjective experience of intertemporal bargaining; 8. Getting evidence about a nonlinear motivational system; Part III. The Ultimate Breakdown of Will: Nothing Fails Like Success: 9. The downside of willpower; 10. An efficient will undermines appetite; 11. The need to maintain appetite eclipses the will; 12. Conclusions; Notes; References; Indexes.