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. What part of a heating system does Schelling use as a metaphor for human behavior?

2. How do people affect each other's decisions where to sit in theater?

3. How does Schelling describe a decision such as choosing a seat in a theater?

4. What does Schelling say governs each decision?

5. Why does Schelling say people tend to sit in the back of a theater?

Short Essay Questions

1. What limitations does Schelling describe that restrict the effect of economic analysis of social behaviors?

2. What is one consequence Schelling describes of parents being able to choose the sex of their children?

3. What kinds of subliminal factors does Schelling say affect people's decisions of where to sit?

4. What is a semi-closed system?

5. According to Schelling, what is not included in his model of integration and segregation?

6. Where does the equivalence of terms in an economic break down, in Schelling's analysis?

7. 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?

8. How many possible genetic variations can result when two people have a baby together?

9. What does Schelling say the thermostat model seeks?

10. What would the demographic consequences be, if parents could select the traits of their children?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What are Schelling's values? Where does he stand on the issue of safety, or integration, or segregation or vaccines? Using evidence from the book, describe Schelling's personal views about the issues he raises, and explain the reasoning by which he justifies these personal views.

Essay Topic 2

Which models are most convincing in predicting outcomes, and which models are least convincing? Describe a case where a model lines up neatly with phenomena, and another case where a model fails to account for behavior.

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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