Metatheoretical studies often characterise rational choice theory (RCT) based empirical research as predominantly qualitative and illustrative. In this short (and selective) methodological survey we investigate the oppurtinities and limits of quantitative empirical researches that adopt the framework of the RCT paradigm. Unlike many other methodological studies, this paper does not focus on a general comparsion of RCT with compenting paradigms. instead, we take the framework of RCT as given, and study the methodological problems RCT researchers face while testing their theoretical models. We survey possibile research-startegies, and examine the impact of the level of analysis on model building and on the results. Moreover, we summarise the motivational assumptions of sociological RCT. Besides, we examine those extensions of the RCT that take into account the problem of proplem of perception. Afterwards we present a regression technique that is directly build on utility-theory. Finally, a residual method for measuring non-egoistic motivations will be discussed.
|Review of Sociology|
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