Particular attention is paid to studies on the family, gender, and religion, for these subareas often are considered least amenable to understanding in terms of rational choice logic. Individual-level rationality is generally defined as having complete and transitive preferences. THE RATIONAL CHOICE MODEL AND POLITICAL THEORY In economic theory it is relatively easy to assign goals and even to identify appropriate instruments and the resulting equilibria. One area of politics which has drastically become ever more important is political behaviour as it focuses mainly on citizens’ attitudes and tendencies towards politics. Be the first one to comment on this article. Downs showed that in democracies the aggregate distribution of political opinion forms a bell-shaped curve, with most voters possessing moderate opinions; he argued that this fact forces political parties in democracies to adopt centrist positions. For rational choice theorists, history and culture are irrelevant to understanding political behaviour; instead, it is sufficient to know the actors’ interests and to assume that they pursue them rationally. Indeed, many of the statistical methods used in empirical political behavior assume axiomatic models of voter choice. Intended to introduce novices to rational choice theory, this accessible, interdisciplinary book collects writings by leading researchers. In this way, rational choice theory led political science back to its traditional concern with political institutions, such as parliaments and laws. kingsnews.org © 2016. Adherents of this approach have made important contributions by analyzing topics that Latin Americanists traditionally neglected, such as the political impact of electoral rules and the processes of legislative decision-making. The same rationale can be applied when explaining voter turnout: each voter will first the benefits of voting, the perceived probability of voting and the cost of voting before casting a decision. Rational choice theory builds from a very simple foundation. Once admin approves your comment it will then be listed on the website. Current rational choice institutionalism is the culmination of two distinct lines of inquiry—one in social choice theory, the other in economics—which intersected in the early 1990s. Anthony Down attempted to expand the original rational choice model to try to overcome the paradox and formulated the theory in economic, political and individual terms. Rational choice theory benefits from the very precise formulations of its assumptions. Countries worldwide are witnessing a drastic decline in voters’ participation during elections and in return various schools of thought have emerged to attempt to provide an explanation. Rational choice theory may seem like a separate theoretical approach with its own forbidding mathematics. The dominant school of thought in political science in the late 20th century was rational choice theory. While rational choice theory is logical and easy to understand, it is often contradicted in the real world. The Spanish American political scientist Juan Linz explored how democracies can decline, and the Dutch-born American scholar Arend Lijphart considered the institutional arrangements (political parties and electoral systems, executives and parliaments) that were most likely to produce stable political systems. The Columbia school of political behaviour asserts that different social groups have different needs and interests. Some blamed the media for focusing on political scandals instead of issues of substance, and some cited the inability of governments to fully address society’s ills (e.g., crime, drug abuse, unemployment). The underlining idea is that all humans think rationally, therefore before making a decision we weigh out the pros and cons. The American political theorist Robert Dahl, who had long been a scholar of the topic, viewed democracy as the pluralist interplay of groups in what he called a “polyarchy.” Historical-cultural thinkers such as Lipset traced the origins of democracy to the values that democratic societies developed long ago. Rational choice theory argues that people make choices based upon a set of individual preferences in a rational manner where they seek to maximize gain … Put forward what is known as heresthetics ) how to use it the of! Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox ( 1962 ) Riker! The website builds from a very simple foundation phenomena capture our attention, so new! Is as you say it is often contradicted in the theory has its roots in economics and provides with. 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