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The Cognitive Miser Theory of Decision-Making and U.S. Responses to Nuclear Threats and Terrorist Attacks: A New Psychological Explanation for Policies of War and Peace

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Abstract:

This paper presents a new and general theory of decision-making: the cognitive miser theory. This theory focuses on the individual actor as the fundamental unit of analysis, and proposes that it is variations in decision role (leader or advisor), and variations in levels of knowledge (expert, intermediate, or novice) that prompt national actors to choose policies of war rather than policies of peace. Using the Kennedy administration’s response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Bush administration’s response to the terrorist events of September 11, this paper confirms the power of the new theory, and demonstrates the potential of this new approach to illuminate an even broader array of choices, both within foreign policy studies and beyond.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

decis (160), polici (139), militari (125), cognit (114), fn (105), judg (101), knowledg (98), decision-mak (94), advoc (90), make (89), expert (82), see (82), miser (79), problem (73), theori (67), polit (64), foreign (64), group (57), bush (56), choic (56), use (55),

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Bush, war, peace, Kennedy, Johnson, Eisenhower, expert, novice, choice, bureaucracy, organization, Japan, Austria, Hungary, Britain, Munich, cause, policy, case study, Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, World War I, president,
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Name: American Political Science Association
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MLA Citation:

Gronich, Lori. "The Cognitive Miser Theory of Decision-Making and U.S. Responses to Nuclear Threats and Terrorist Attacks: A New Psychological Explanation for Policies of War and Peace" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton, Washington, DC, Sep 01, 2005 <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p40082_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gronich, L. H. , 2005-09-01 "The Cognitive Miser Theory of Decision-Making and U.S. Responses to Nuclear Threats and Terrorist Attacks: A New Psychological Explanation for Policies of War and Peace" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton, Washington, DC Online <PDF>. 2013-12-17 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p40082_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper presents a new and general theory of decision-making: the cognitive miser theory. This theory focuses on the individual actor as the fundamental unit of analysis, and proposes that it is variations in decision role (leader or advisor), and variations in levels of knowledge (expert, intermediate, or novice) that prompt national actors to choose policies of war rather than policies of peace. Using the Kennedy administration’s response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Bush administration’s response to the terrorist events of September 11, this paper confirms the power of the new theory, and demonstrates the potential of this new approach to illuminate an even broader array of choices, both within foreign policy studies and beyond.

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Associated Document Available Political Research Online
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Document Type: PDF
Page count: 44
Word count: 15747
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8/25/05 THE COGNITIVE MISER THEORY OF DECISION-MAKING AND U.S. RESPONSES TO NUCLEAR THREATS AND TERRORIST ATTACKS: A NEW PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATION FOR POLICIES OF WAR AND PEACE Lori Helene Gronich Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Georgetown University Prepared for delivery at the 2005Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association September 1-4 2005. Copyright by the American Political Science Association. 2 THE COGNITIVE MISER THEORY OF DECISION-MAKING AND U.S. RESPONSES TO NUCLEAR THREATS AND TERRORIST ATTACKS: A NEW
concludes that it would be best to proceed with the launch as scheduled.82 It is possible that whenever people are making judgments about the world around them they are always cognitive misers. 82 For a discussion of the Challenger accident which stresses the influence of role and expertise see Samuel C. Florman “Commentary: Engineering Under Pressure ” Science 86 (July-August 1986); and New York Times June 10 1986. For more detailed reviews of the decision-making process overall see the


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