International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

Who Decides Matters

Siri Merethe Neset, NTNU; Daniel Heradstveit, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI); Matt Bonham, Maxwell School of Syracuse University

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: NTNU
Research Area: Political decision making

This poster proposal is based on my master thesis in social psychology (May, 2010). The results are not previously published.
The study applies operational code analysis to reveal the rationale behind the Bush administration and Hamas` decision-making in the aftermath of the Palestinian election in 2006. It demonstrates that the Bush administration viewed Hamas as extremely hostile and that a definitive conflictual strategy was preferred, and further that Hamas perceived the Bush administration as very hostile and chose a strategy in-between cooperation and conflict. The results are discussed within Snyder, Bruck, and Sapin`s (1962) framework, where images, ideology, and domestic support are identified as factors guiding both actors in their decision-making. Despite the change in situation represented by the Palestinian National Unity Government of 2007, the actors’ schema of the other as an enemy was maintained. This, because it was highly developed and available as illuminated by schema theory.