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date: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

After emphasizing the ambiguous position of political psychology in the international relations field, this chapter examines some general conceptual issues confronting the application of psychological variables to the study of foreign policy and international relations. It then summarizes the evolution of efforts by both social psychologists and political scientists, beginning in the 1930s, to use psychological models to explain international behavior. Next the chapter turns to a more detailed discussion of particular research traditions on judgment and decision-making in the international relations field. These include longstanding research programs on historical learning and on prospect theory, and more recent developments such as the Rubicon model of war, poliheuristic theory, and theories of time horizons, discounting, and temporal construal. It concludes with a brief discussion of some other areas of international relations that would benefit from greater attention to political psychology.

Keywords: decision-making, learning, levels of analysis, misperceptions, poliheuristic theory, prospect theory, Rubicon model, time horizons

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