WDW151H1 Finals Notes
a. Quantitative Studies: broad, general data
b. Qualitative Studies: smaller data and more detailed like interviews and documents.
2. Problem of Social Order
a. BANFIELD: Inability to cooperate is an utter lack of public-spiritedness
b. Communication - Necessity of social contact to be physically and emotionally healthy (to
c. Coordination – people develop stable expectations about other’s behaviour
d. Cooperation – entailing people working together for the same end
i. May impose costs on the individual
ii. More order not necessarily better – high level of social order may impose great
cost on individuals (limitation of freedom)
iii. Free-rider problem: hoping others will work to improve community but would
prefer to enjoy benefits without making too much effort themselves
3. Rationality: Motives and Mechanisms
a. Rational Models of Decision Making: simplifications that are useful when trying to
understand complex environments like societies, markets, government behaviour.
b. Situational Mechanisms
i. Explains how social environment affect individuals.
c. Behavioural Mechanisms (WEBER)
i. Tells us how people act given their internal states
ii. Our behaviour are motivated by values, emotion, tradition, rationality.
1. Instrumental rationality: Shaped by anticipated consequences.
a. Rational Egoism: Choosing action that will yield the greatest
benefit with the least effort; calculating cost & benefits.
2. Value-Rational: chose because they believe in it.
3. Affectual: driven by emotion.
4. Traditional: habitual actions.
iii. Fehr and Gintis: focuses on differences across individuals.
1. Identified two types of motivation emphasized in literature:
a. Self-interest (instrumental rationality).
b. Oversocialized man (value rationality).
iv. Strong Reciprocity: cooperating conditionally on other’s cooperation and to
punish violations of cooperative norms even at a net cost to the punisher.
d. Transformational Mechanisms
i. Making a decision based others’ decisions 4. Groups
a. Economic Liberalism: government imposed barriers (tariffs) are socially harmful.
b. Groups can socialize individuals and provide incentives for self-interested individuals to
c. Freud: Social order is problematic because people are motivated by hedonism.
i. Internalization: Adopting values and norms of other people
1. Freud: regulation makes people unhappy
2. Durkheim: without regulation, people are distressed
i. 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.
ii. Networks are important for social order because it brings coordination for
society; allows us to share values & information & interact with numerous
iii. Heterogeneous Societies small groups and their norms makes it easier to
achieve order as they can supervise their actions due to their small sizes.
iv. Hierarchy (government) is needed to enforce laws upon us because it is difficult
to satisfy all of our desires.
5. Norms (HAYEK)
a. Cosmos: spontaneous order; it evolves and can be more complex because they’re
b. Taxis: made order; it is arranged.
c. How does spontaneous order (cosmos) arise?
i. We naturally form ourselves into groups
ii. Herding instinct
iii. Groupthink: members favor consensus over critical thinking.
a. Field research where one observes peoples’ action in “real world” settings with the
objective to understand social meanings. Example: de Tocqueville, Democracy in
7. What Is Theory
a. Explains why individual units act in particular ways, and how individual actions combine
to produce new higher-order outcomes
b. Simplification of reality
c. Two types of statements that aid theoretical explanations:
i. Causal relations - Outcome Y depends on factor X
ii. Causal mechanisms – How X produces Y.