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The Information Gap

Structural analysis is based on research in information theory in economics, which assumes that the unconscious is constantly present in our perceptions and actions. As a result, any individual can be viewed as a « dual agent, » representing the sum of two rational agents with different objectives and sets of information. By modeling the behavior of the dual agent, structural analysis provides a way to analyze and decipher the actions of the unconscious.

The dual agent

Structural analysis focuses on the study of the dual agent, an economic agent that optimizes the welfare of both the conscious and the unconscious. Although rational, the conscious and the unconscious have separate welfare functions and sets of information. They are nonetheless inseparable: Their actions are channeled through a single agent, and their constraints must be satisfied by a single action, even if it is complex.

The model

The notion of the dual agent yields insights into the way the unconscious operates, its information set, and the welfare function it optimizes. It also sheds light on the role of the unconscious in shaping an individual’s actions. These results are validated empirically: they are efficient. Structural analysis is the application of these results to the decyphering of unconscious messages.

* For a detailed presentation of the dual agent, please read → An Economic Approach to the Self: The Dual Agent.