The Theory of Social Situations: An Alternative Game-Theoretic Approach

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This book, first published in 1991, offers an integrative approach to the study of formal models in the social and behavioural sciences. The theory presented here unifies both the representation of the social environment and the equilibrium concept. The theory requires that all alternatives that are available to the players be specified in an explicit and detailed manner, and this specification is defined as a social 'situation'. A situation, therefore, not only consists of the alternatives currently available to the players, but also includes the set of opportunities that might be induced by the players from their current environment. The theory requires that all recommended alternatives be both internally and externally stable; the recommendation cannot be self-defeating and, at the same time, should account for alternatives that were not recommended. In addition to unifying the representation and the solution concept, the theory also extends the social environments accommodated by current game theory.