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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Perception and Misperception in International Politics

A Personality StudyVol. Also, leaders of the United States and Iraq in the run-up to the most recent Gulf War might have been operating under cognitive biases that made internatinal value certain kinds of information more than others, whether or not the information was true. Although the research on political psychology has exploded in the decades since Jervis wrote the original book, he concludes that these new perceptiom do not fundamentally alter his original insights. After coming back from a dinner and re-reading the final draft, I tore out the conclusion and re-wrote it from scratch, something that I rarely do.

My second practical example also relates to habits of assessment. His scholarly work has focused on critical episodes in American and world history.

Perception and Misperception in International Politics by Robert Jervis

Jervis thought it would have been safer and less fiscally burdensome if Washington mispercephion Moscow had fully accepted the condition of mutually assured destruction and properly understood the stabilizing effects that condition should produce at all levels of potential military conflict. Oct 01, Meihan Liu rated it really liked it. Hope that more self-awareness will lead to better outcomes? His most recent full-time position was as the Counselor of the Department of State, a deputy to Secretary Rice.


He was also president of the American Political Science Association in Definitely a bit redundant and wordy at times, but its substantive content is important enough that I’m still giving it five stars.

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

It would be difficult to overstate the extent to which Perception and Misperception has served as a foundational work in the field of international politics or the extent to which it has influenced the percfption of generations of students, scholars, and one hopes political leaders.

There is some overlap between the material covered in Perception and Misperception and the essays in How Statesmen Think, and even among the twelve essays in the latter volume. We tend to think that countries that our enemies make proposals that would harm us, work against the interests of our friends, and aid our opponents.

He actively discourages a priori reliance on theoretical preconceptions. Outlines Jevris game of Chicken, overwhelming threat of force, negative view of enemy vs. It is mipserception accident that Jervis is one of a handful of scholars judged as most influential both politiccs policymakers and by scholars.

Indeed, I think expectations and political jeervis psychological needs….

Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (XXI)

But he lost his silly head and shot Perceptikn This will no doubt prove useful when teaching the book to undergraduates for whom the invasion of Iraq is at best a hazy memory of evening news broadcasts from early childhood. A bit repetitive, but simple and informative. He participated in the Hertog Global Strategy Initiative, a high-level research program on nuclear proliferation.


Studying signaling in isolation from perception can never yield more than an incomplete theory of interstate behavior. By your continued use of this site you accept such use. These essays are rich with insights about international conflict that can be readily employed to assess current events.

Anyone interested in decision making processes. T he publication of a new edition of Perception and Misperception in International Politics along with the collection of essays about How Statesmen Think is an occasion for reflection about the stature and impact of the scholarship of Robert Jervis.

Although the commonalities in our bodies and bodily functions with other animals are hard to miss, it is easier to convince ourselves that our brains are somehow immune to biology and evolution. Evidence does not speak for itself, and people process information in such a way that they are unlikely to update their assessments in the face of most new information. Princeton University Press- Political Science – pages.

As Jervis recognizes in the new preface, the book itself does not have a single clear theoretical take. First, consider the character of government assessments and the problem of rationality.

It’s all about understanding and acknowledging your own biases in order to accurately perceive the other actor’s intent and anticipate his own misperceptions of you.