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Rules, perception and emotion: When do institutions determine behaviour?

Brendan Markey-Towler

Journal of Institutional Economics, 2019, vol. 15, issue 3, 381-396

Abstract: This paper seeks to answer the question of what psychological preconditions must exist for institutions to determine behaviour and order our societies. We defend the notion that institutional theory may gain from such a contribution. We introduce a new theory of the mind as a network structure within which the psychological process operates to integrate insights from cognitive and affective psychology into institutional theory. We discover that institutions must be expressed as rules in mental networks which guide thinking and behaviour, be embedded within a cognitive apparatus such that they are called to mind by perception to so guide thinking and behaviour and be anchored to emotion such that they are endowed with urgency in order for them to have a hold on individual behaviour. From this theory we derive definite predictions, as well as policy insights.

Date: 2019
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