Difference between revisions of "Dynamic inconsistency"

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(Created page with "'''Dynamic inconsistency''', as defined in game theory, refers to a disagreement between your earlier self and your later self about what your ''later self'' should do. More pre...")
 
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'''Dynamic inconsistency''', as defined in game theory, refers to a disagreement between your earlier self and your later self about what your ''later self'' should do.
 
'''Dynamic inconsistency''', as defined in game theory, refers to a disagreement between your earlier self and your later self about what your ''later self'' should do.
  
More precisely, if your present self thinks "If things turn out like X, I should do Y", and then things turn out like X, and you ''don't'' do you Y, then this contradiction is called a dynamic inconsistency.
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More precisely, if your present self thinks "If things turn out like X, I should do Y", and then things turn out like X, and you ''don't'' do Y, then this contradiction is called a dynamic inconsistency.
  
 
==Examples==  
 
==Examples==  

Revision as of 09:50, 27 October 2010

Dynamic inconsistency, as defined in game theory, refers to a disagreement between your earlier self and your later self about what your later self should do.

More precisely, if your present self thinks "If things turn out like X, I should do Y", and then things turn out like X, and you don't do Y, then this contradiction is called a dynamic inconsistency.

Examples

Tuesday Self: If I buy whisky on sale tomorrow, and am extremely tempted to drink it before the weekend, I still should not do so.
Wednesday Self: <Buys whisky on sale, feels tempted, and drinks it immediately.>

Non-example:

Tuesday Self: I don't want to go swimming today.
Wednesday Self: <Goes swimming.>

This is not a logical contradiction in preferences; Wednesday is a new day, and swimming could have different consequences on Wednesday (e.g., perhaps Monday made you too tired to swim on Tuesday, but by Wednesday you felt better).

Non-example:

Tuesday self: I think smoking is worth the money.
Wednesday self: <Finds out smoking causes lung cancer> Oh gosh, nevermind.

This is not a logical contradiction in preferences, but an update of your beliefs about what outcomes are possible/likely. On Tuesday you thought you could smoke without increasing your risk of cancer, and on Wednesday you found out you couldn't. Presumably on Tuesday you might still smoke if there was a way to eliminate the risk of cancer.

See also