Micromotives and Macrobehavior Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Thomas Schelling
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Schelling says that it is hard to draw the line between "individually motivated" segregation and what?

2. In Schelling's analysis, what behavior governs the people filling the theater?

3. How does Schelling characterize the individual's relationship with the society?

4. What does Schelling say individuals react to?

5. What does Schelling ultimately say about a decision such as where to sit in a theater?

Short Essay Questions

1. In what way does Schelling say the shop owner's exchange of a bicycle for $150 of the customer's money--when the owner paid $90 for the bicycle--an equal exchange?

2. What is a semi-closed system?

3. What is the lemons model?

4. What is a binary choice?

5. What is the key factor in the critical-mass model?

6. What factors does Schelling say social scientists have to account for in models of human behavior?

7. How do economic systems resemble ant colonies, in Schelling's analysis?

8. What does Schelling say is the trigger for the decisions that lead to segregation?

9. What does Schelling say the thermostat model seeks?

10. What methodological difficulty does Schelling see in a college where the population is 75% female, with a handful of black students?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

What does Schelling mean when he says that systems strive for equilibrium? Use an example of a system that naturally seeks equilibrium--and define that equilibrium--and describe a natural system that does not seek equilibrium. What do the exceptions show about the general tendency?

Essay Topic 2

Schelling writes that groups tend to gather around a primary distinction, but secondary distinctions still exist beneath the surface. Select a case study from history or from current events and describe the interplay between the dominant identifier and the relationship between sub-identifications within that group.

Essay Topic 3

Schelling describes underlying assumptions as being difficult to account for in economic models of social behavior. What methods does Schelling use for making this accounting, and where does his social science begin to need psychological language for unconscious behaviors? In other words, what behaviors do Schelling's models still fail to account for, and is there a point beyond which these economic models cannot go, in estimating individual behavior or accounting for micromotives behind macrobehavior? Will there always be an ultimate 'theory of no guarantees' behind the models?

(see the answer keys)

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