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Culture, Behavioral Patterns and Inductive Reasoning

Culture, Behavioral Patterns and Inductive Reasoning

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 8 (no. 4),

Studies in culture are becoming more and more popular among economists. In this paper, culture is mainly considered in the framework of Original (Old) Institutional Economics. Basically, actors comprehend culture through behavioral patterns that are available to them. Social values correlate behaviors within and among various behavioral patterns in different cultural contexts. That is why culture is regarded as a bunch of social values, institutions and behavioral patterns associated with specific historical features of social evolution. The identification of behavioral patterns implies analyzing historical facts, actors’ discourses and narratives. That enables us to reflect on how well we understand manifold social values and specific cultural features. We may face difficulties comparing behavioral patterns embedded in different cultures. These difficulties lie in interpreting and understanding dominant institutions and values. Examining various available behavioral patterns does not enable us to develop a reliable deductive model that can be used for making predictions, because such a model fails to take into account the time and cultural contexts. While analyzing real economic processes, we have to take into consideration the fact that complex adaptive systems are constantly evolving. In the process of social and economic exchanges, actors choose relevant behavioral patterns simultaneously analyzing other individuals’ reaction. The regularity of social interactions entails that involved actors gain experience. In complex adaptive systems, actors use inductive reasoning to comprehend their experience in the context of culture and prescribed social values.

Keywords: Institutional economics; culture; social values; behavior patterns; inductive reasoning.

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