Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Prospect theory has been adopted unevenly across different domains of political decision-making. Research drawing on prospect theory has contributed to important advances in the understanding of processes of elite decision-making in foreign policy and domestic politics. Political scientists have also contributed several important extensions of and qualifications to prospect theory that augment the original theoretical framework and are applicable in other disciplines. The next wave of research needs to be far more careful in specifying the scope conditions that have been the focus of research in behavioral economics. Scholars will also have to pay closer attention to the distribution of probability estimates across options; whether political decision makers are choosing among risky/certain bimodal distributions, high-probability distributions, high/low distributions, or low-probability distributions matters to the predicted impact of framing effects. Finally, studies will need to pay greater attention to the information political decision makers are given and to the impact of group dynamics in political settings. Identifying the scope conditions of prospect theory in the context of political and policymaking processes over time can make a significant contribution to the explanation of both domestic and foreign policy decisions, fill a gap between individual-level choice and institutionally based outcomes, and provide a stronger behavioral foundation for understanding the dynamics of multiactor policy choice.

Keywords: prospect theory, elite decision-making, probability distributions, group dynamics, framing effects, cognitive bias, elite behaviour

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.