Is Human Behavior – Deliberate or Not – Generally Rational?





Is Human Behavior – Deliberate or Not – Generally Rational?


The law prohibits discrimination of any kind, especially in the economic sector. This means that no one should face any discrimination whether based on gender or race when making purchases or acquiring property. Professor Ayer had done an article that seeks to explain the reasons why women and black people face discrimination at the car dealers’ shops when purchasing a car. This study is instrumental in establishing whether it is rational for car dealers to discriminate, and the theories behind their behavior. However, according to the law, it is illegal to discriminate, as well as it is morally wrong. Therefore, it is irrational for car dealers to discriminate, especially because from the article, it is evident that human behavior is deliberate.


The study conducted reveals that white males got better mark up prices, white women paid a bit more than the white males. On the other hand, black males paid at least twice, what the white women paid, and the black women paid thrice what the white males paid. Ayer observes that there are two main theories that explain why the car dealers discriminate against race and gender. The first theory is revenue-based statistical discrimination. Here, the dealership considers issues such as the willingness of a customer to bargain and the amount of consumer information a customer has. White males tend to like to bargain more, and have knowledge about the car market, thus knowing there are better prices than the sticker prices provided. Therefore, they get better deals. Black people on the other hand are the complete opposite of the whites, thus being charged higher markup prices. Evidently, this kind of rationale is misguided, because it is wrong to make such assumptions. One would be surprised at how much the black people, or the women know about cars and their prices. Therefore, this makes it irrational to set prices higher for one group based on that. This also reveals that that kind of human behavior is deliberate.

The other theory, which explained the different pricing, is the animus theory of discrimination. The theory posits that a specific group of people is either hated or disliked by the other, and is therefore treated differently and unfairly. Racial segregation dates back to centuries, whose origins are in the 16th century slave trade. Ayer explains the discrimination at the car dealership using the animus theory. Evidently, this is the case in the society today. Racial prejudice has been passed on to generations continuously, and despite efforts such as enacting laws against it and globalization, the practice is still rife within the society. This kind of behavior depicts that it is done deliberately, due to the dislike the whites have for the blacks. In addition to this, that kind of behavior is irrational, especially because all human beings are equal. Therefore, judging an individual based on their pigmentation is misguided and morally wrong.


Professor Ayer’s article is useful in explaining the discriminatory behavior of car dealers against women and the black folk. The two main theories, the revenue-based statistical discrimination, and the animus theory, have been used to explain this appalling behavior. Passing judgment on an individual because one thinks that they have no car business knowledge is wrong an irrational. Additionally, deciding to charge higher markup prices for car testers based on their gender and race due to a baseless dislike is irrational. The study helps the reader conclude that that kind of human behavior is both deliberate and irrational.

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