In trying to convince Congress and the nation to surge U.S. troop levels in Iraq, President Bush may have psychology on his side. Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman argues in an article in Foreign Policy magazine that “a bias in favor of hawkish beliefs and preferences is built into the fabric of the human mind.” He wrote that the biases uncovered in 40 years of psychological research all tend to favor hawks. These psychological impulses “incline national leaders to exaggerate the evil intentions of adversaries, to misjudge how adversaries perceive them, to be overly sanguine when hostilities start, and overly reluctant to make necessary concessions in negotiations,” he wrote. “In short, these biases have the effect of making wars more likely to begin and more difficult to end.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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