Preprint / Version 1

The new Viet rationale: An empirical study on the degree of rationality in Vietnamese undergraduate students


  • Anh Do Mahindra United World College of India
  • Phuc Huynh VNU-HCM High School for the Gifted
  • Muhammad Shalahudin Central Toronto Academy



rational, rationality, logical, reasoning, game theory, Bayesian theorem, Bayesian reasoning, Empiricism, Vietnam, Vietnamese, Undergraduate, Students, Young, Youth


More than three decades have passed since the introduction of the Đổi Mới reform (1986), marking Vietnam's transition to a socialist-oriented market economy. The drastic shift from a command economy resulted in sweeping educational and social changes, drawing from a plethora of external influences (Drummond, 2006). These changes are incoherent with the contextual periods in which many of the world's mainstream psychological and economic theories emerged, such as Homo Economicus. The empirical study explores the degree of rational reasoning in Vietnamese undergraduate students on a range of metrics and its implications in the Vietnamese context. Through qualitative and quantitative analysis of a stratified sample in Ho Chi Minh City, the results suggest that undergraduate students possess a high degree of self-criticism while lacking strategic considerations when faced with situations involving game theory. The overall result shows that there is a positive relationship between the number of years in college and the degree of rationality, with male participants outperforming female participants. This paper ends with a discussion of possible factors (i.e. media and Confucianism) related to these disparities and the potential political, economic, and social implications of the findings.


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