Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 2 > Issue 1-2

The Third Speed: Flexible Activation and Its Link to Self-Regulation

Siegwart Lindenberg, Department of Sociology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands,
Suggested Citation
Siegwart Lindenberg (2015), "The Third Speed: Flexible Activation and Its Link to Self-Regulation", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 2: No. 1-2, pp 147-160.

Publication Date: 29 Jul 2015
© 2015 S. Lindenberg


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. Flexible Activation is the Third Speed 
3. The Role of Overarching Goals 
4. The Importance of Legitimacy and Flexible Activation 
5. Self-Regulation and Overarching Goals 
6. Conclusion 


There are not two, but three speeds of transmission or of transformations of sensory inputs into behavioral outputs: first, genome encoding; second, learning; and third, flexible situational activation of mental constructs, especially overarching goals. Gintis and Helbing focus on the first two, and surely these two are important. However, by completely neglecting the third speed, their theory lacks the most important ingredient that would make a microfoundational theory relevant for sociology.