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Coping with Conflict:A Dynamic Decision Making Perspective

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  • Kuperman, Ranan

    ()
    (University of Haifa)

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    Abstract

    This research investigates how students of political science playing the role of a state leader cope with structural and dynamic complexities of international conflict. This was studied with the aid of an interactive microworld simulator of a fishing dispute, which was designed according to principles of system dynamics. The research question was what type of decision-making patterns characterized subjects who adapted successfully to the challenges posed by the opponent in comparison to subjects who pursued policies that produced suboptimal payoffs. The results of this research suggest two reasons for poor adaptation. First, rather than exploring the consequences of all possible policy options, most subjects had very strong pre-existing policy preferences and were reluctant to abandon them in favor of alternative policies. Second, many subjects did not adequately analyze the statistical data that were required in order to estimate the payoffs. A third possibility that was explored but not sufficiently supported is that decisions were based on satisficing rather than comparing utilities associated with alternative policies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Network of European Peace Scientists in its series NEPS Working Papers with number 3/2011.

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    Length: 55 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Dec 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ris:nepswp:2011_003

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    Keywords: policy preferences; decision making; international conflicts;

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    1. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    2. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-81, September.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
    4. Wendt, Alexander, 1992. "Anarchy is what states make of it: the social construction of power politics," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 391-425, March.
    5. George J. Mailath, 1998. "Corrigenda [Do People Play Nash Equilibrium? Lessons from Evolutionary Game Theory]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
    6. George J. Mailath, 1998. "Do People Play Nash Equilibrium? Lessons from Evolutionary Game Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1347-1374, September.
    7. Sterman, John D., 1989. "Misperceptions of feedback in dynamic decision making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 301-335, June.
    8. John D. Sterman, 1989. "Modeling Managerial Behavior: Misperceptions of Feedback in a Dynamic Decision Making Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 321-339, March.
    9. Binmore, K & Shaked, A & Sutton, J, 1985. "Testing Noncooperative Bargaining Theory: A Preliminary Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1178-80, December.
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