Perception and Misperception in International Politics. By ROBERT. JERVIS. ( Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, Pp. xi, $ cloth, $ . Jervis, R. (). Perception and Misperception in International Politics. Princeton, Princeton. University Press. I. Chapter 1: Perception and the Level of Analysis. This study of perception and misperception in foreign policy was a landmark in the application of cognitive psychology to political decision making. The New.

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Human nature may be constant, but one of its constants lies in its sheer variance across individuals. Hari Prasad rated it it was amazing Jan 31, Anyone who has been sick, even polirics a bad case of the flu, knows that biology can interfere with conscious processes in an explicit way, just as we have all had experiences of believing, however falsely, that we know why we feel the way we do about a particular person, event or policy.

Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict Cambridge: Completely nerded out on this one too. Princeton University Press Intergroup relations Marilynn B. While state A may perceive the purchase of arms by state B to indicate the aggressiveness of state B, state A does not apply this same reasoning to its own purchase of arms. When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance.

IR misperception perception psychology Robert Jervis. Stevenson Professor of International Politics and has been a member of the Columbia political science department since I am especially glad that he selected people with experience in the policy world as well as those who have made their careers misprception research scholars; while my primary target is the academic community, the work has policy implications.

In Septemberduring the ongoing Czech crisis, the British Foreign Office was debating how to assess the intentions of the German dictator, Adolf Hitler. Lloyd rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Certainly, the individual is vital but their level of importance remains andd.

They end up killing each other. He is using the history to extract, catalogue, and label possibilities.


Perception and Misperception in International Politics

First, consider the character of government assessments and the problem of rationality. By marrying the emerging insights from psychology his debt to innovative thinkers such as Erving Goffman, Albert Hirschman, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, [13] for internatilnal, is copiously acknowledged with a deep knowledge of the history and practice of international relations particularly the Cold WarJervis has over four decades created a valuable perspective that made it possible to build a synthesis between the world of parsimonious theory and the complexity of historical inquiry.

The Untold Account of the Communist Threat. The use of psychological factors to substantiate claims makes the reader struggle even further to find quality cases for analysis and to look at Jervis’s chosen cases as examples of true misperception — after all, some of his examples are during the biggest wars in world history.

In contrast with the structural theorists, Jervis emphasizes the role of the individual perrception the study of international relations. Unless they have evidence to the contrary, decision-makers assume that their agents act as instructed. As she explains, these two topics are normally treated separately, yet they are inherently joined. Spiral Model Security Dilemma, slow steps up spiral, positive view of enemy Cognitive Consistency — tendency to view new information according to believed framework, expectations based Cognitive Dissonance — acknowledged evidence that does not meet framework, a conflict o Change behavior or o Change internationap Perception of centralization, rational actor model 1 Wishful Thinking — desires based, little proof Jervis makes arguments primarily from IR relations and psychology some history, some social science, some poly-sci Favors a interdisciplinary approach with free but not casual thought.

Although Bayesian logic is often specified and modeled in formal terms, Jervis explains the basic insight of this approach quite clearly and succinctly: Of course I did not invent this concept, whose lineage goes back to Thucydides, but it was not highly salient when I wrote the first edition of Perception and Misperception. A brilliant work that draws attention to the psychological factors influencing foreign policy decision-making and international relations.

Much as I like work on signaling, which was the topic of my dissertation and the book that proceeded Perception and Misperception, [29] it makes heroic assumptions about how signals are perceived miperception acted upon. Furthermore, the mention of biology, let alone genetics, calls to mind the view that humans and societies cannot change, that what exists must be ordained if not by God then by evolution, and that the familiar hierarchies of race and gender are appropriate.


Of course, any comprehensive analysis of the first of these considerations must draw heavily on the work of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, [6] as indeed Jervis does in the second pairing of articles in How Statesmen Think.

This is analytically useful if, like the earlier division into motivated and unmotivated biases, such separation is certainly artificial in practice.

Perception and Misperception in International Politics by Robert Jervis

As with most of his observations, he is entirely correct with this one. Political Science and M. Drawing on this work, Jervis was able to examine the ways systematic and predictable biases in the human decision-making apparatus could influence leaders and enlighten our understanding of international relations.

The barriers to intelligence analysts and, even more, policy-makers internalizing the notion that world politics resembles Rashomon are even greater.

This is true, unless, of course, one considers intelligent and historically rooted skepticism about misprception theoretical takes themselves to be a strong theoretical position. The basis of dissonance theory lies in the postulate that people seek strong justification for their behavior.

We talked about how perceptions are built on past experiences, deep routed beliefs and cognitive consistency. Neither one alone fully accounts for the phenomenon, and in this regard I doubt that this is unusual.

Although earlier work had been done applying psychological concepts to political phenomena, most notably the work of Harold Lasswell in the s, none of that work really seeped into perceptioh subfield of international relations. In that realm, however, he has not yet had enough impact.