People are not irrational-at least not as much as we are led to believe. This is because the brain is economic. That is, brains have a limited amount of energy to achieve necessary goals like survival and reproduction. As a result, brains have evolved ways to make decisions in an efficient way. Professor Richard McKenzie at UC Irvine and I call this "rational rationality" (for more details, see McKenzie's forthcoming book In Search of a Defense of Rational Behavior in Economics).
All biological systems are economic because physical resources are inevitably scarce. Think of a cow that is happily munching grass on a small hill. It moves slowly to extract all the grass near it and eventually the hill is nearly denuded. The cow must make a decision to continue to graze the increasingly bare hill, or move to the lush hill nearby. Because the cow's energy is limited and walking to the new hill takes energy, it uses a simple algorithm to decide when to move: do so when the additional energy gained by moving to the new hill exceeds the additional cost of energy spent moving to it.
- Find a Therapist
- Topic Streams
- Get Help
RelationshipsLow Sexual Desire
Recently Diagnosed?Diagnosis Dictionary
- Psych Basics