ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Different Psychology

Malavika Kapur Asian Perspectives on Psychology edited by S R H Kao and D Sinha; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1997; pp 396, Rs 395 (cloth). consequence of such rules of thumb must be "better" than if no rules were used. And, of course, these rules must have led to satisfying outcomes for the policy-makers. The point she seems to miss is that such outcomes must be satisfying some implicit objectives. While the policies followed will have an economic element they will also be governed by vested interests incorporating the political economy aspect of policymaking. Let us presume that the rules of thumb listed by Basu do indeed lead to some satisfying behaviour. It could be argued that these rules are nothing but policy choices derived from an underlying objective that seeks to maximise a combination of economic growth [items (it) and (iii)], political stability [item (iv)], and social equity with a focus on goals such as national security [item (i)]. One could also say that the success of different policies depends on how well they are implemented, Making policy-decisions per se is different from policy implementation. Policy-decisions, eg, regarding expenditure or revenue collection, may well be based on orthodox rationality. Basu's argument for procedural rationality could then be thought of as applying to policy implementation which is what happens when various levels of hierarchies interact. For, as she puts it, "Procedural rationality is 'the effectiveness, in light of human cognitive limitations, of the procedures used to choose actions'".
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