Perception and Misperception in International Politics
By (author) Robert Jervis
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Perception and Misperception in International Politics by Robert Jervis
Book DescriptionThis study of perception and misperception in foreign policy was a landmark in the application of cognitive psychology to political decision making. The New York Times called it, in an article published nearly ten years after the book's appearance, "the seminal statement of principles underlying political psychology." The perspective established by Jervis remains an important counterpoint to structural explanations of international politics, and from it has developed a large literature on the psychology of leaders and the problems of decision making under conditions of incomplete information, stress, and cognitive bias. Jervis begins by describing the process of perception (for example, how decision makers learn from history) and then explores common forms of misperception (such as overestimating one's influence). Finally, he tests his ideas through a number of important events in international relations from nineteenth- and twentieth-century European history. In a contemporary application of Jervis's ideas, some argue that Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 in part because he misread the signals of American leaders with regard to the independence of Kuwait. Also, leaders of the United States and Iraq in the run-up to the most recent Gulf War might have been operating under cognitive biases that made them value certain kinds of information more than others, whether or not the information was true. Jervis proved that, once a leader believed something, that perception would influence the way the leader perceived all other relevant information.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691100494
(235mm x 155mm x 26mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1976
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Robert Jervis
Why Intelligence Fails, Paperback (December 2011)
Jervis examines the politics and psychology of two of the more spectacular intelligence failures in recent memory: the mistaken belief that the regime of the Shah in Iran was secure and stable in 1978, and the 2002 claim that Iraq had active WMD programs.
System Effects, Paperback (December 1998)
Based on more than three decades of observation, this title concludes that the very foundations of many social science theories - especially those in political science - are faulty. It observes that we live in a world where things are interconnected, where unintended consequences of our actions are unavoidable and unpredictable.
Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution, Paperback (October 1990)» View all books by Robert Jervis
Robert Jervis argues here that the possibility of nuclear war has created a revolution in military strategy and international relations. He examines how the potential for nuclear Armageddon has changed the meaning of war, the psychology of...
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