Perception and Misperception in International Politics

Perception and Misperception in International Politics This 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 publishe

  • Title: Perception and Misperception in International Politics
  • Author: Robert Jervis
  • ISBN: 9780691100494
  • Page: 280
  • Format: Paperback
  • This 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 importaThis 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 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.

    One thought on “Perception and Misperception in International Politics”

    1. The book focuses on the issue of decision-making in IR and the continual problem of making decisions based on limited information. Misperception as a term is problematic. How can someone misperceive a situation and how can it truly be measured? Isn't the person just acting rationally at the time and the scholar or secondhand observer considers the person to misperceive? My conclusion remains that the subject acts rationally given the situation and the options present at the moment of the decisio [...]

    2. In Perception and Misperception, Robert Jervis takes the baton from Allison and Kahneman and expands the argument that the world is a very complicated place and that our brains overcome this with perceptions and analogies. The strength of this is that we can rapidly make sense of complicated situations, but the downside is that we are very prone to misperception. Thinking about how we think and how our adversaries think is very important. These concepts are also very important in understanding h [...]

    3. This book is a must read for anyone that wants to understand how decisions in international politics are made. It is an easy jump to realize that most people make decisions everyday based on the same principles presented in this book.The main thesis of this book is buried in the middle of it: "Thus statesmen underestimate the costs of forming preliminary hypotheses and so form images more quickly than they would if they understood the processes at work." This sums up the book well. It suggests t [...]

    4. Completely nerded out on this one too. Describes deterrence and spiral theory, points out the holes in each (not that they are not useful, but that neither universally applies) and posits that the real question in international relations is to figure out when it is appropriate to use which. In the author's eyes, it's all about the intent of the other actor. As such, it is crucial that perception be as true as possible - all effort must be taken to avoid misperception.Author's thesis is that, whi [...]

    5. As an aspiring military strategist, this is a classic that I'm supposed to like. If a reader can make the laborious slog through 400+ pages of dense, wooden prose, he or she will understand why. The subject is vitally important: how the perceptions and images held by leaders influence their judgments and decisions, and why these perceptions and images can be profoundly skewed. Jervis has treated the subject in exhausting and methodical detail, offering countless historical examples for each poin [...]

    6. A brilliant work that draws attention to the psychological factors influencing foreign policy decision-making and international relations. And from my experience working on Asia-Pacific affairs, it seems that this book has had an important influence on actual policy discourse in the decades since it was written, as it is likely an important impetus for the abundant attention directed to misperception and mistrust among states in the region. Definitely a bit redundant and wordy at times, but its [...]

    7. Political psychology meets international politics. And the result is a fascinating approach to understanding the dynamics of international politics. Here, Robert Jrevis applies psychological theory to explaining how decision-makers operate--and how their decisions often go wrong as they misperceive the context in which they operate. He also closes the book by noting how decision-makers might enhance the quality of those decisions and reduce the effects of misperception. . . .

    8. Jervis' classic book looks at the role of misperception in international politics, and assesses the extent to which it can be used to explain decisions my elites. Specifically it focuses on the role of decision-making in circumstances of limited information, as well as the role that cognitive biases play in the interpretation of such information.

    9. Buku Klasik HI yang mengulas decision making dengan psikologi sebagai alat analisa. bener gak? (hahaha ngaku klasik masih lupa)

    10. I didn't read all of it but it brought up some excellent points about the how academics and policy makers get things wrong in international politics.

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