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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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On Strategy and Rationality

(p.181) 8 Conclusion
The Psychology of Strategy

Kenneth Payne

Oxford University Press

The conclusion explores the role of psychology in social science theory, suggesting that it challenges the notion of a rational actor, while hugely complicating the search for a parsimonious and positivist account of strategic behaviour. It suggests that individual agency remains important in explaining the behavior of groups, even if structure inevitably constrains their choices. Lastly it suggests that, despite huge cultural variation through time, an understanding of our evolved psychological traits can contribute to accounts of strategy, including, as here, in the Vietnam War.

Keywords:   rationality, social science, psychology, evolutionary psychology, positivism, strategy, Vietnam War

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