Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Psychological Explanations of International Politics
Janice Gross Stein
Psychological explanations of international politics focus on the impact of cognition and emotion on choice. Through the analysis of decision making, political psychologists have explored a wide range of topics that are central to international politics: the onset of war, nuclear strategy, deterrence and reassurance, signaling and bargaining, conflict management and conflict resolution, and peace. Recent neuroscientific research on emotion is changing the analysis of foreign policy decision making and rational choice. This entry looks first at psychological theories of decision making. Second, it examines the consequences of new understandings of decision making for strategic models of interaction. Third, the entry looks at the contribution of psychological explanations to the analysis of collective beliefs and moods on international political issues. Forty years ago, psychologists started a “cognitive revolution” as they rejected simple behaviorist models and looked again at the way cognition shaped the choices people make. Although this was not ...