New trends in behavioral decision research see researchers attempting to integrate multiple-self models of behavioral economics with dual-process and dual-system theories of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Psychologically sophisticated multiple-agent models have grown in popularity given their purported ability to predict and explain reasoning errors and decision anomalies. In this paper, I analyze how multiple-agent models conceive of and employ ‘selves’ and ‘systems’ for the purposes of representing intrapersonal and intraneural conflict. The paper is structured according to three claims. The first and second claims establish that multiple-agent models are conceptually as well as ontologically ambiguous. The third claim argues that such ambiguities can lead to problems in scientific understanding.

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Keywords agency, behavioral economics, dual process theory, dual systems, Multiple selves, neuroeconomics
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Series VSNU Open Access deal
Journal Journal of Economic Methodology
Note This paper was presented at the University of Helsinki, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Behavioral Economic Workshop, 22–23 May 2017
Grayot, J. (James). (2019). From selves to systems: on the intrapersonal and intraneural dynamics of decision making. Journal of Economic Methodology. doi:10.1080/1350178X.2019.1625213