The Role Of Perception And Misperception In Foreign Affairs

1567 Words 6 Pages
1) Perception and misperception in foreign affairs are incredibly important in regards to international relations. As Robert Jervis states it in “Hypotheses on Misperception,” actors should try to predict how others would act by developing an image of others and of their intentions. The problem with developing this image is that it may be inaccurate. Jervis discusses different hypotheses that support why misperceptions can be huge issues in foreign affairs. The first hypothesis discusses how decision-makers put incoming information into their existing theories and images. What this means is that actors essentially perceive what they expect. The second hypothesis Jervis talks about is that decision-makers are often closed off to new information and do not want to alter their theories to this new information. In politics, actors usually establish their theories prematurely because action is needed when in reality the theory should be more thought out. Jervis believes that we should not quickly apply the label of cognitive distortion, but rather proceed with caution. That is why I believe it is important that the UN should be concerned with perception and misperception in foreign affairs. …show more content…
Scholars believe that these strategies have been acquired over the years. According to Kydd and Walter, a man named Thomas Thornton believes that there are five objectives in their strategies. These objectives are morale building, advertising, disorientation of the target population, elimination of opposing forces, and provocation. A man named David Fromkin believes that provocation is the main strategy of terrorism. So, why do some terrorist attempts work and others fail? It all boils down to the state’s level of interest in the issue under dispute, the constraints on its ability to retaliate, and its sensitivity to the costs of

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