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Stein: When misperception matters

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I say who wrote them.

Stein. 1982. When misperception matters. World Politics 34 (July): 505-526.

[From handout]

Point: Misperception does not always affect an actor's choices or determine outcome. Indeed, Stein argues that when misperception does matter, it is in a much narrower range than previously thought, and that misperception can lead to cooperation as well as conflict. Additionally, previous discussions of misperceptions focused on crisis situations, which entails a selection effect, making the assessment of the impact of misperception inaccurate.

X: misperception

Y: international conflict

Place in the literature: Stein criticizes Jervis in that we don't know what situations facilitate misperception, and what the consequences are. Stein also criticizes Snyder and Diesing's work, particularly the assumption that misperception affects an actor's choice and thus changes a game's outcome.

When Misperception Matters:

Research on similar subjects


Stein, Arthur (author)International RelationsPerceptionWarGame TheoryPreferences

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