Information inconsistency and the cognitive algebra of foreign policy decision making Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper explores a special feature of the information complexity that underlies foreign policy decision making, i.e., inconsistency in information. We use the actor and action images to categorize types of inconsistency. The consequences of inconsistency for process and outcome are analyzed within the framework of a cognitive algebra model. Finally, we demonstrate the implications of the model in an experimental study. Our findings show that not every inconsistency is detected and those that are detected do not always affect the choice. The critical inconsistency is the one that presents an imbalanced structure of the actor and the action image. This inconsistency affects the choices made by decision-makers and sensitizes them to the within image inconsistency. Furthermore, the results suggests that in the context of the scenarios employed in this experiment the actor image has a more dominant status for the foreign policy decision making process than the action image. 1999 OPA (Overseas Publishers Association) N.V. Published by license under the Harwood Academic Publishers imprint, part of The Gordon & Breach Publishing Group.

published proceedings

  • International Interactions

author list (cited authors)

  • Geva, N., & Skorick, J. M.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Geva, Nehemia||Skorick, J Mark

publication date

  • December 1999