By Mark Schafer, Stephen G. Walker

This publication examines how ideals form leaders’ perceptions of truth and result in cognitive and influenced biases that distort, block, and recast incoming details from the surroundings. utilizing content material research and formal modeling equipment linked to quantitative operational code research, individuals examine how ideals impact regulations regarding overseas safety and overseas political financial system.

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Intensity of Tactics (I-2) Going beyond the directional balance of the leader’s beliefs about self’s actions found in I-1, here we are interested in the leader’s beliefs about intensity when pursuing tactics. This index parallels P-2 mentioned earlier, and once again we weight the verbs according to our six-point intensity scale: Punish Ϫ3, Threaten Ϫ2, Oppose Ϫ1, Support ϩ1, Promise ϩ2, and Reward ϩ3. By weighting each verb when the subject is talking about 36 CONTENT ANALYSIS AND FORMAL MODELS self and then dividing by the total number of self utterances, we end up with the average level of cooperative or conflictual intensity the subject demonstrates in his rhetoric.

Weintraub (1986) has devised a system for looking systematically at clinical personality profiles of subjects. Many scholars have also conducted research on the cognitive side of the divide, covering such topics as misperceptions (Holsti 1972; Jervis 1976), images (M. Cottam 1985, 1986, 1992, 1994; R. Cottam 1977; Finlay, Holsti, and Fagen 1967; Herrmann 1984; Larson 1985; Kaplowitz 1990; Herrmann and Fischerkeller 1995; Herrmann et al. 1997; Herrmann and Keller 2004), cognitive maps (Axelrod 1976; Bonham 1993; Bonham and Shapiro 1986; Levi and Tetlock 1980; Maoz and Shayer 1987; Walters 2005; Young 1996), cognitive style (Suedfeld and Tetlock 1977; Tetlock 1983, 1985), belief systems, and operational codes (Bennett 1999; George 1969, 1979; Herrmann, Tetlock, and Visser 1999; Holsti 1970, 1977; Khong 1992; Larson 1994; Rosati 1987; Walker 1977, 1983, 1990, 2003; Walker, Schafer, and Young 1998, 1999).

In the remainder of this volume, we address three domains of inquiry regarding how beliefs matter in world politics and employ VICS to link beliefs with foreign policy behavior and strategic interaction between states. In part III, the focus is the application of the VICS indices to the analysis of leader–advisor relations within the governments of Margaret Thatcher and George W. Bush. The Thatcher Cabinet study in chapter 4 analyzes the impact of structural adaptation across different geographical and policy domains by comparing and contrasting the contents and the influence of beliefs held by the Prime Minister and her key advisors during both security and economic decision-making episodes.

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