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Editorial Reviews. From the Back Cover. This book deals with the theoretical, methodological, Frameworks for Modeling Cognition and Decisions in Institutional Environments: A Data-Driven Approach (Law, Governance and Technology.
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This entails exploring the demands imposed by problems and the knowledge needed to deal with them, making this book also a study on expertise achievement in institutional environments. This book combines standard multivariate statistical methods with machine learning techniques such as multidimensional scaling and topic models, treating text as data.

Doing so, the book contributes to the collaboration between empirical social scientific approaches and the community of scientists that provide the set of tools and methods to make sense of the fastest growing resource of our time: data. He works with social and computer scientists, urban designers, and legal professionals, on how to model, measure, and analyze the interaction between citizens and variation in their environment. Change may occur in micro-level contexts such as problem spaces in choice situations or in macro-level phenomena such as metropolitan growth or the regulatory environment.

JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser. Provides a thorough and technical review of theoretical approaches to decision-making Contributes to a rethinking of some basic notions of political science Presents a plausible framework for modeling political cognition and decision-making Provides a reliable and realistic knowledge acquisition strategy see more benefits.


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They are not as broad as values, which act as general guides that are less context-specific than beliefs or attitudes Rokeach, Instrumental beliefs specify ends-means relationships, or the causal mechanisms a policymaker thinks link decisions, actions, and outcomes. Both types of beliefs are stable, though they can change as leaders learn from experience George, , pp.

A Data-driven Process Recommender Framework

Furthermore, there is considerable variation across different leaders in terms of their instrumental and philosophical beliefs, and in that regard operational code theory recognizes a degree of actor-specificity. Even though Leites developed the operational code to analyze the beliefs of Soviet leaders, its developmental trajectory leaves its validity beyond the Western context in a state of greater uncertainty.

A Data-Driven Approach

For example, one may possess an image of dictators characterized by linked characteristics authoritarian, aggressive, etc. As with beliefs, images are simplified versions of their referents. Images do not arise haphazardly. Multiple possible images of outgroups are possible, from enemy or barbarian to ally. Given the massive stakes of international conflict in the nuclear era and the potential consequences of misperception during crises, Cold War—era researchers intensely examined Soviet and U. Holsti, Information that allows a decision maker to differentiate opponents along these lines may be a costly signal Schelling, , p.

This perspective is most prominent within cognitive FPA on role theory. Roles are relational identities. Holsti argued that countries had numerous national role conceptions that described these ideas of self and other. Along with scripts for behavior, roles can also define where one stands in the international hierarchy.

The behavioral scripts and status-conscious dimensions of roles combine to inform foreign policy choices. For instance, if state leaders adopt a hostile, oppositional role conception while simultaneously believing their country has not risen to its proper station in international politics, they may be more apt to pursue nuclear weapons than a comparable country in which satisfied and nonoppositional role conceptions nevertheless predominate Hymans, For instance, K. Holsti , p. In cases in which a multitude of images and identities are available, outside factors must be incorporated into the theoretical framework to predict which ones will rise to the fore.

Institutional context and bureaucratic politics may be especially important in determining the officials who constitute the ultimate decision making unit M.

Hermann, and thus which role conceptions and images they favor. Beliefs, images, and roles, which are themselves simplified representations of reality, may be the products of cognitive processes that are simpler than those involved in substantively rational decision making. These processes are forms of heuristic reasoning, or mental shortcuts.

Heuristics privilege certain types of information over others to make evaluations or determine a course of action, even if the excluded information is relevant to the decision in question. Tversky and Kahneman documented numerous cognitive heuristics that people use when they are faced with uncertainty. Someone using the Representativeness Heuristic, for instance, attends to stereotypical characteristics of an entity in order to judge the probability that it belongs to a certain category. Say someone is asked what the probability is that a political leader is a dictator versus the probability that the same leader is a dictator and a communist.

A person who is reliant on the representativeness heuristic whose stereotypical image of a dictator is a communist like Mao instead of a right-wing dictator like Pinochet would say the latter probability is higher. This would be an incorrect answer, but because most people are unfamiliar with the rules of conditional probabilities, it is simpler to use the heuristic to arrive at a conclusion. Nevertheless, heuristic reasoning can approximate substantive rationality, especially for experts, who can base decisions on patterns they recognize from past experiences.

Even if a chess grandmaster cannot calculate all possible moves given the position of pieces on the board, she may recall numerous games in which the configuration of pieces resembled that of the current match and accordingly outline a nonexhaustive set of effective strategies. Likewise, though political experts may not do well at predicting international events or learning from past errors Tetlock, , they do appear better able than nonexperts to use heuristics to prioritize information when addressing specific problems.

This serves to streamline the advisory process and allows officials to reach decisions in a more efficient manner Hafner-Burton et al. Hermann, ; Saunders, Each option for dealing with a foreign policy problem can be evaluated along multiple dimensions: military feasibility, economic utility, the likelihood of public support, and so on. The poliheuristic model theorizes a two-step decision process that begins with an individual eliminating certain options in a noncompensatory manner.

This means that, rather than engaging in a substantively rational cost-benefit analysis of each option in which a weakness along one dimension can be compensated for by strengths associated with another e. If he did not believe support would be forthcoming, he would not consider the option or its other attendant dimensions any further. Once a policymaker has simplified the decision making process by limiting the number of acceptable choices, the remaining ones are evaluated in a more substantively rational manner.

Poliheuristic theory has been criticized for not explaining how political actors define foreign policy issues as problems that must be addressed; 3 overemphasizing the salience of political considerations compared to other policy dimensions; and neglecting the institutional context in which decisions are made Stern, , pp. Another criticism of the poliheuristic theory is its assumption that rational actors are risk averse. In the second stage of the model, decision makers are presumed to rationally select the policy option that maximizes benefits and minimizes risks Mintz, , pp.

However, a tendency to take big gambles when making decisions is not necessarily irrational, but may simply be considered a preference like any other. Risk is defined as the variance of outcome values in a probability distribution, such that policy options become riskier as the range of their possible outcomes increases. The common understanding of the term simply associates risk with the potential for bad outcomes. What is more, there will often be a difference between the real risks involved in a policy scenario and the risks the decision makers perceive, which will be a function not only of the variance and magnitude of potential outcomes but also the amount of confidence individuals have in the information on which they have based their decisions Vertzberger, Heuristics can be a source of unjustified optimism.

This is true even when logically equivalent scenarios are framed differently to make losses more salient than gains, or vice versa. Some participants were told that if they chose Policy A, out of sick people would live; whereas if they chose Policy B there was a one-third chance that all people would be saved and a two-thirds chance that no one would be saved. Other participants were told Policy A would kill out of people; the probabilities attached to the different outcomes possible under Policy B remained the same.

Policies A and B have the same expected results, but Policy B is the riskier option because probability comes into play. Prospect theory has numerous implications for FPA scholars. Among these, leaders of declining powers may be expected to be more risk-acceptant in their decision making than would leaders of rising states. Deterrence should also be easier than forced compliance: the former requires challengers to forgo a gain, whereas the latter requires states to accept a loss.

However, one difficulty in applying prospect theory to foreign policy is that whether a political actor is in a domain of gain or loss depends on its reference point Levy, , pp. Consider the hypothetical leader of a state that lost a piece of territory years ago.

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2. Theoretical Framework : Big Data in Organizations and the Role of Human Resource Management

Studies have shown that people do not discount losses or gains at a constant rate. Instead, both—but especially gains—lose their subjective value more rapidly than standard discounted utility theory would expect as they become further removed from the present. Conversely, as losses and gains become quite temporally distant, they virtually cease declining in subjective value. When future losses and gains are probabilistic rather than certain, as is usually the case in international politics, individuals tend to be overconfident in their plans to secure goals in the more distant future in comparison to goals meant to accomplish near-term tasks Johnson, , pp.

A Data-Driven Approach

They thus construe their actions in terms of why they are pursuing their high-level goals, rather than how they are going to formulate and execute the concrete steps of their plan. Learning may be the most complex of all cognitive activities. Learning is often done on the fly through trial-and-error as an individual executes strategies to solve a puzzle and then adjusts based on the feedback he receives, sometimes redefining the problem at hand Levy, ; Stein, ; C.

Hermann, Foreign policy is an especially difficult area in which to learn and apply lessons.


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  • Most political problems are ill-structured in that they have no single solution C. Not only do policymakers typically lack a great deal of relevant information, but they may not even be aware of what pieces of information they are lacking those infamous unknown unknowns. The very definition of learning is conceptually fraught in that scholars disagree about whether or not it necessarily involves an increase in the accuracy and precision of beliefs Stein, , or simply requires cognitive change in response to some external stimuli Levy, ; Reiter, A prominent area of the FPA literature studies how policymakers use historical analogies to learn and make decisions.

    This is a form of both causal and diagnostic learning Levy, , p. Khong , p. For example, Khong argues that U.