Risk Taking in Brinkmanship

Chassy, Philippe (2016) Risk Taking in Brinkmanship. Focus on Sciences, 2 (3). pp. 1-4. ISSN 2423-8198

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Judgement and decision making are essential functions of the cognitive system. The present paper exposes key elements of the psychological theory which best accounts for human decision making. Decision making can be a flawed process. Loss aversion, framing effects, and differences across individuals are presented to highlight the irrational aspect of human risk taking. We reveal evidence of various cognitive distortions as compared to normalised decisions. It has been shown that expertise acquisition can compensate part of these cognitive distortions. Yet, recent evidence shows that experts in different civilizations retain civilizational risk propensities. Such evidence thus challenges the notion that knowledge is sufficient for perfect rationality in decision making; throwing the idea that politics is served by informed individuals making rational decisions under a severe cloud. The consequences of flawed human decisions regarding risk taking at a grand scale and by educated individuals is discussed. It is demonstrated that risk tolerance in different civilizations leads to different actions. This basic phenomenon is used to demonstrate how powerful states may misread potential reactions of less powerful states, which historically, can and has led to costly wars. Understanding the opponents’ psychology is a well-known factor for chess players, which, so far, has not been explored much in political psychology.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: The final publication is available at http://focsci.com All articles published in this journals have undergone peer review and upon acceptance, are immediately and permanently free to read and download.
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Philippe Chassy
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 10:35
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2017 10:35
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1592

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