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Security Assurances and Nuclear Nonproliferation$
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Jeffrey W. Knopf

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804778275

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804778275.001.0001

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The Psychology of Assurance: An Emotional Tale

The Psychology of Assurance: An Emotional Tale

Chapter:
(p.39) 3 The Psychology of Assurance: An Emotional Tale
Source:
Security Assurances and Nuclear Nonproliferation
Author(s):

Janice Gross Stein

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804778275.003.0003

This chapter outlines recent psychological research, especially concerning the role of emotions, to update previous work on how psychological factors impact the use of assurance strategies. It also describes how psychological concepts can help in developing strategies of assurance. Prospect theory indicates that assurance can decrease the chances that a state puts its situation within the domain of loss. It is observed that fear, anger, sadness, happiness, and disgust significantly affect decision-making. Emotion can be regarded as a practical tool of policy analysis. Collective emotion can act as a substantial constraint or enabler on the success of assurance. Thus, it can be stated that research on emotions reveals that assurance could play significantly in defusing conflict, but also that designing effective assurance strategies is intriguing. Failure to deal with the effect of emotion will only make the design of effective strategies even more difficult.

Keywords:   psychological research, assurance strategies, fear, anger, sadness, happiness, disgust, decision-making, policy analysis

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