A Mismatch Between Micro-motives and Macro-behavior
Viewed at the microscopic level of each individual laboratory, it may appear that researchers work in accordance with the three R’s, choosing the appropriate animal model, aiming to get the smallest sample size needed for any experiment, and continuing to improve the techniques and knowledge extraction. However, turning to the macroscopic level of the entire field, we find mismatches between the individual intentions and overall outcomes. The chapter offers an analysis inspired by the groundbreaking work of Schelling on emergent patterns of macro-behavior as a function of micro-motives. The challenge will be to shift from agency at the microscopic level to agency at the macroscopic level. Such a shift would enable researchers to address, among other things, the key scientific problem of sample size.
KeywordsAnimal ethics Rational choice Individual perspective Aggregate outcome Sample size
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