Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (4):343-349 (2013)

This paper analyses Soros' theory of reflexivity by breaking it down into several component concepts that are individually well analysed in existing literature – including performativity, self-reinforcing feedback loops and uncertainty. By focusing on the cognitive myopia implied by analytical monocultures and on the indeterminacy implied by innovation, it helps establish boundaries of applicability for reflexivity models. It argues that Soros largely ignores a key element in the formation of self-reinforcing delusions or market bubbles – the role played in conditions of uncertainty by homogeneous social narratives and shared mental models. This paper also examines how social learning, rhetoric, power, emotional contagion, the discourse of ‘best practice’, ‘and Keynes' beauty contest may lead to such shared narratives and analytical homogeneity in markets. It concludes that market instability results when there is insufficient cognitive diversity or heterogeneity of beliefs among actors to enable them to spot anomalies and novelties
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DOI 10.1080/1350178X.2013.859404
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Risk, Uncertainty and Profit.Frank Knight - 1921 - University of Chicago Press.
Fallibility, Reflexivity, and the Human Uncertainty Principle.George Soros - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (4):309-329.
Hayek on the Wisdom of Prices: A Reassessment.Richard Bronk - 2013 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 6 (1):82-107.

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