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The Psychology of StrategyExploring Rationality in the Vietnam War$
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Kenneth Payne

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190227234

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190227234.001.0001

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Memory and Myth

Memory and Myth

(p.165) 7 Memory and Myth
The Psychology of Strategy

Kenneth Payne

Oxford University Press

The lessons of the past guide policymakers and war strategists, but memory is a construction in the present, rather than a faithful transcription of what has happened. This chapter explores the role of emotion and memory, including in the construction and recall of the analogies that strategists employ to simplify current realities. It describes “mood congruent” memories that are shaped by current affect, and it explores some of the methodological difficulties in understanding the use of memory by Vietnam-era strategists.

Keywords:   memory, emotion, analogies, mood congruence, Vietnam, strategy, war, policymakers

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