Avoiding Losses/taking Risks: Prospect Theory and International Conflict
University of Michigan Press, 1994 - 165 sidor
This volume is a comprehensive examination of the benefits and potential pitfalls of employing prospect theory---a leading alternative to expected utility as a theory of decision under risk---to understand and explain political behavior. The collection brings together both theoretical and empirical studies, thus grounding the conclusions about prospect theory's potential for enriching political analyses in an assessment of its performance in explaining actual cases.
The theoretical chapters provide an overview of the main hypotheses of prospect theory: people frame risk-taking decisions around a reference point, they tend to accept greater risk to prevent losses than to make gains, and they often perceive the devastation of a loss as greater than the benefit of a gain. The three case studies---Roosevelt's decision-making during the Munich crisis of 1938, Carter's April 1980 decision to rescue the American hostages in Iran, and Soviet behavior toward Syria in 1966-67---generally support these hypotheses. Nevertheless, the authors are frank about potentially difficult conceptual and methodological problems, making explicit reference to alternative explanations, such as the rational actor model, which posits the maximization of expected value.
Contributors to the volume include Jack Levy, Robert Jervis, Barbara Farnham, Rose McDermott, Audrey McInerney, and Eldar Shafir.
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2For example , gambling and insurance behavior present a dilemma for
expected - utility theory . The assumption of diminishing marginal utility for money
implies that people should shy away from lotteries and other gambles to win
decision - making behavior shows that his reversal of preferences about the
desirability of American intervention in the crisis was not the result of a
reassessment of the expected utility of intervening on the basis of new
information . Rather , in ...
As Levy and Shafir both emphasize , it is not sufficient to demonstrate mere
consistency between any given behavior and the predictions of prospect theory ;
one must also show that such behavior cannot be accounted for as well or better
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Political Implications of Loss Aversion
Prospect Theory and Soviet Policy Towards
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