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Decision Makers' Use of False Analogies Causing Miscalculation and War
Unformatted Document Text:  Horan 20 lead to another hostage situation. Considering these obstacles, Carter redefined his interests to execute a rescue mission in Tehran to negotiate instead. 35 The mission failed creating a public uproar. This historical event recounts the way in which an analogy serves an informational role to redefine the interests of a mission by first choosing an analogy and then applying its lessons to a similar situation. Informational analogies may also lead to create pessimistic offensive miscalculation. In this type of miscalculation, decision makers use a failed war as a base analog and enact policies opposite from those of the past event believing this will lead to success (Figure 7, 46). Policy makers overcorrect from the past failure of not entering immediately or of underestimating the adversary’s capabilities and act in the opposite way without observing distinctions between the events. There are two problems from using these analogies that cause miscalculation. First, the situations are exaggerated, and second, analogies to situations in which countries waited to long to act create the impetus to act immediately. H 3 : Failure Base Analog  Opposite policies from previous failure  1) Similarities exaggerated, 2) Immediate and uninformed action  Pessimistic Offensive Miscalculation The follow example demonstrates this different type of miscalculation. The story of the Munich appeasement plagues decision makers as they recount the attitude of Europe towards Hitler’s Germany as it rose to power, continuously giving it more lee way to do as it liked. The most memorable moment is Neville Chamberlain’s Munich agreement with 35 Houghton, 533-536.

Authors: Horan, Elizabeth.
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Horan 20
lead to another hostage situation. Considering these obstacles, Carter redefined his interests to
execute a rescue mission in Tehran to negotiate instead.
The mission failed creating a public
uproar. This historical event recounts the way in which an analogy serves an informational role
to redefine the interests of a mission by first choosing an analogy and then applying its lessons to
a similar situation.
Informational analogies may also lead to create pessimistic offensive miscalculation. In this
type of miscalculation, decision makers use a failed war as a base analog and enact policies
opposite from those of the past event believing this will lead to success (Figure 7, 46). Policy
makers overcorrect from the past failure of not entering immediately or of underestimating the
adversary’s capabilities and act in the opposite way without observing distinctions between the
events. There are two problems from using these analogies that cause miscalculation. First, the
situations are exaggerated, and second, analogies to situations in which countries waited to long
to act create the impetus to act immediately.
H
3
: Failure Base Analog Opposite policies from previous failure
1) Similarities exaggerated, 2) Immediate and uninformed action
Pessimistic Offensive Miscalculation
The follow example demonstrates this different type of miscalculation.
The story of the Munich appeasement plagues decision makers as they recount the attitude of
Europe towards Hitler’s Germany as it rose to power, continuously giving it more lee way to do
as it liked. The most memorable moment is Neville Chamberlain’s Munich agreement with
35
Houghton, 533-536.


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