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Book of the week

Understanding the impact of emotional stress on crisis decision making

Noel Allen Sawatzky author

Motivational models are critical to understanding crisis decision making because leaders and their advisors are emotionally involved, intent on reducing stress, and motivated to find ways of advancing their interests while minimizing the risk of war. The principal theoretical work on the subject is Irving Janis and Leon Mann’s classic study of decision making, published in 1977. While useful, the book has a significant flaw: Janis and Mann theorize that policy maker stress during crisis is derived from decision deliberation, leading to a circular approach. This book solves the identified problem by addressing circularity between the rise of psychological stress, decision deliberation, and dysfunctional behavior with an independent measure of decision conditions using cognitive complexity. With an effective independent measure of stress, the key contribution of this volume is a reformulation of Janis and Mann’s model to render the construct more rigorous and empirically useful to the present-day study of crisis decision making. 

Last updated 11/29/2022 by P. Higo

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