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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Thus whether a respondent frames the issue in terms of gains or losses has a
significant impact on preferences in spite of the ... in order to frame the issue as a
gain rather than a loss for the consumer , reflects an anticipation of framing
effect . Gains are not expected to have such consequences . So a rational
statesman would not be willing to run high risks in order to secure a moderate
gain but would accept much higher risks to avoid a short - run loss of the same
respect of his allies and adversaries , the votes of his constituency ) were clearly
perceived as gains . ... hostage crisis as a potential loss or , instead , had shifted
his reference point and regarded the resolution of the crisis as a potential gain .
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Political Implications of Loss Aversion
Prospect Theory and Soviet Policy Towards
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