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Does Torture Work?$
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John W. Schiemann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190262365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190262365.001.0001

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A Brutal Logic

A Brutal Logic

Chapter:
(p.105) 6 A Brutal Logic
Source:
Does Torture Work?
Author(s):

John W. Schiemann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190262365.003.0006

If interrogational torture is to work the way its proponents claim, then it must follow a brutal cost – benefit, pain – information logic. This chapter works through this brutal logic, solving for the RIT model’s equilibria. Doing so requires one more tool, Bayesian belief updating. The Detainee’s move may tell the Interrogator something about his underlying type, and she will want to use that information to find her best response. The chapter illustrates the mathematical procedure for doing this (Bayes’s Rule) via an intuitive example with playing cards. With this tool in hand, the rest of the chapter shows how to solve for perfect Bayesian equilibria (PBE), the appropriate solution concept for games with this type of uncertainty. Following the three steps for finding PBE, the chapter derives the valuable information—surprise torture equilibrium as well as shows that another candidate is not an equilibrium.

Keywords:   Bayesian belief updating, equilibrium, Bayes’s Rule, perfect Bayesian equilibrium, torture

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