We propose and develop a dynamic theory of endogenous preference formation in which people adopt worldviews that shape their judgments about their experiences. The framework highlights the role of mindset flexibility, a trait that determines the relative weights the decision-maker places on her current and anticipated worldviews when evaluating future outcomes. The theory generates rich behavioral dynamics, thereby illuminating a wide range of applications and providing potential explanations for a variety of observed phenomena.
The objective of this agenda is to make progress toward answering one of the most critical open questions in Economics: What determines preferences? The notion that people are endowed with exogenously fixed preferences plays a central role in classical choice theory, but many critics of the classical paradigm, both from within and outside the field, have expressed skepticism concerning that premise. Recent empirical research implies that preferences respond to both opportunities and experiences.
My first contribution in this area proposes and develops a dynamic theory of preference formation in which people adopt worldviews that shape their judgments about their experiences. In other words, the theory endogenizes preferences by making them the objects of constrained choice. I am currently working on other projects within this agenda, and hope to post additional papers in the near future.