Doctrine, Rationality, and Field-Based Approaches
This chapter discusses three broad approaches to understanding how military decisions are made: (1) the military decision-making process (MDMP), based largely on historical experience and, arguably, best described as the nearest thing to a doctrine-based approach; (2) rational–cognitive approaches and the literature on heuristics and biases and the means to try to optimize decision-making; and (3) so-called “naturalistic decision-making” approaches based largely on observations of decision-making in the field and thus perhaps best considered as a descriptive observation-based framework. The chapter discusses the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches and notes that each weakness reveals considerable gaps in knowledge about the specific nature of the impossible decisions that soldiers face.
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