Wednesday, February 04, 2009

When Life Isn't Rational

It was nice hearing about a piece Scott Atran has up on the NYT talking about the role of religious or quasi-religious like dynamics play in the logic of peace negotiations. Hat-tip Science and Religious News.

in general the greater the monetary incentive involved in the deal, the greater the disgust from respondents. Israelis and Palestinians alike often reacted as though we had asked them to sell their children. This strongly implies that using the standard approaches of “business-like negotiations” favored by Western diplomats will only backfire.

While your there, you should also check out Salman's posts on Swat area of Pakistan. Try thinking through what a successful educational change plan would look like there. If we fail to account for people's non-rational, but functionally adaptive preferences, I think, over time, we are doomed for failure.

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