WDW151 FINALS NOTES
Quantitative Studies: broad, general data
Qualitative Studies: smaller data and more detailed like interviews and documents.
1. Social Order
Social order can be formed by: cooperation, coordination and communication.
Coordinate actions that develop stable expectations about others’ behaviour
Cooperation to attain common goals and work together for the same end.
Free-rider problem: hoping others will work to improve community but would prefer to enjoy benefits
without making too much effort themselves
2. Rationality: Why do we act the way we do?
Our behaviour are motivated by: values, emotion, tradition, rationality
Rational models of Decision Making: simplifications that are useful when trying to understand complex
environments like societies, markets, government behaviour.
3. Tragedy of the Commons
Public Goods: Resources available for everyone but no organization/person controls; trust is an example.
People tend to care more of whatever is their own (self-interest), so the idea of specialization is
beneficial for the benefit of the society.
4. How do we cope with chaos and complexity?
I. Organization: we subconsciously try to organize it
II. Selective attention: we ignore it and filter information because our brains are capable of
retaining 7 bits of random data (Information overload).
III. Change blindness: we overlook stuff
IV. Confirming bias: we avoid, ignore, challenge, discount because we seek to confirm that we were
right all along; We only pay attention to stuff that confirms what we already believe.
V. Status quo bias: we stick with what we know
5. Important people Tocqueville: groups help individuals to internalize cooperative values. Freedom is beneficial for social
order because voluntary associations promote value of cooperation and bring people close and aid each
other to work toward the common goals (His experiment in America).
Durkheim: anomy occurs during rapid change and disorder. Internalization is a solution to problem of
order. Without regulation, people are distressed as “the more one has, the more one wants”; need
regulation to restrain individual passions. Norms bring social order.
Schwartz: the paradox of choice.
Hobbes: strong central state is essential for attainment of social order because people are rational
agents who calculate the expected benefits and costs of their actions and act so as to attain their most
Engels: interest of dominant class and working class are at offs; the state is necessary for our society
because we have classes.
Weber: people act given their internal states (behavioural mechanism) but in legitimate orders, people
are willing to obey rules of their own accord. 3 kinds of authority structures are patrimonial,
bureaucratic and charismatic.
Hayek: cosmos and taxis; norms bring social order.
Goffman: gender affects how our society is structured and how we interact with one another.
Hechter: Groups promote social order; they influence us to be interdependent & cooperative in the
society by the connections we make and the norms that we learn from the groups. Networks are
important for social order because it brings coordination for society; allows us to share values &
information & interact with numerous people. In heterogeneous societies, small groups and their norms
makes it easier to achieve order as they can supervise their actions due to their small sizes. Hierarchy
(government) is needed to enforce laws upon us because it is difficult to satisfy all of our desires.
Informal rules for how we should behave, speak, dress, and what we should expect out of life. They arise
to promote coordination and cooperation; evolve over time and differ and vary in regions, groups and
social situation (Ariely); are powerful and ubiquitous yet subtle.
Herding Instinct: feeling safe and confident when we do what others are doing; makes us comply with
norms even when we don’t agree with them and leads to conformity. Examples: Emperor’s Dilemma
and Asch experiment.
Pluralistic ignorance: situations where the majority reject a norm but incorrectly assume that most
others accept it.
7. Ethnography Field research where one observes peoples’ action in “real world” settings with the objective to
understand social meanings. Example: de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
8. Cosmos and Taxis
Cosmos: spontaneous order; it evolves and can be more complex because they’re implicit. Examples are