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Behavioral economics and nuclear weapons

Author: Anne Harrington; Jeffrey W Knopf
Publisher: Athens : The University of Georgia Press, [2019]
Series: Studies in security and international affairs, 28
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : English
Summary:
"Recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience have improved our understanding of why our decision making processes fail to match standard social science assumptions about rationality. As researchers such as Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky, and Richard Thaler have shown, people often depart in systematic ways from the predictions of the rational actor model of classic economic thought because of the influence of  Read more...
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Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Anne Harrington; Jeffrey W Knopf
ISBN: 9780820355634 0820355631
OCLC Number: 1052876488
Description: pages cm.
Contents: Introduction: Applying insights from behavioral economics to nuclear decision making / Jeffrey W. Knopf and Anne I. Harrington --
Testing a cognitive theory of deterrence / Jeffrey D. Berejikian and Florian Justwan --
Disabling deterrence and preventing war : decision making at the end of the nuclear chain / Janice Gross Stein and Morielle I. Lotan --
The neurobiology of deterrence : lessons for U.S. and Chinese doctrine / Nicholas Wright --
Apocalypse now : rational choice before the unthinkable / Jean-Pierre Dupuy --
Sanctions, sequences, and statecraft : insights from behavioral economics / Etel Solingen --
Justice and the nonproliferation regime / Harald Müller --
Constructing U.S. ballistic missile defense : an information processing account of technology innovation / Zachary Zwald --
Homo atomicus : an actor worth psychologizing? : the problems of applying behavioral economics to nuclear strategy / Anne I. Harrington and John Downer.
Series Title: Studies in security and international affairs, 28
Responsibility: edited by Anne I. Harrington and Jeffrey W. Knopf.

Abstract:

"Recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience have improved our understanding of why our decision making processes fail to match standard social science assumptions about rationality. As researchers such as Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky, and Richard Thaler have shown, people often depart in systematic ways from the predictions of the rational actor model of classic economic thought because of the influence of emotions, cognitive biases, an aversion to loss, and other strong motivations and values. These findings about the limits of rationality have formed the basis of behavioral economics, an approach that has attracted enormous attention in recent years. This collection of essays applies the insights of behavioral economics to the study of nuclear weapons policy. Behavioral economics gives us a more accurate picture of how people think and, as a consequence, of how they make decisions about whether to acquire or use nuclear arms. Such decisions are made in real-world circumstances in which rational calculations about cost and benefit are intertwined with complicated emotions and subject to human limitations. Strategies for pursuing nuclear deterrence and nonproliferation should therefore, argue the contributors, account for these dynamics in a systematic way. The contributors to this collection examine how a behavioral approach might inform our understanding of topics such as deterrence, economic sanctions, the nuclear nonproliferation regime, and U.S. domestic debates about ballistic missile defense. The essays also take note of the limitations of a behavioral approach for dealing with situations in which even a single deviation from the predictions of any model can have dire consequences"--

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