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Summary Government & Behavior

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- Government & Behavior
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A snapshot of the summary - Government & Behavior

  • KC 1 BPA (Tummers & Grimmelikhuijsen

  • What is the vision of Herbert Simon on public administration?
    Decision making is the heart of administration. The vocabulary of administrative theory must derive from the logic and psychology of human choice
  • What concepts is Herbert Simon known for?
    1. Bounded Rationality: People are not fully rational 
    2. Satisficing: People tend to choose the most statisfactory option, not the best option
  • What are the tree main concepts that are important for BPA?
    1. The micro-level focus: It focus on individuals instead of organizations. It focus on how individuals make decisions 
    2. Behavior and attitudes: It focus on how individuals behave and what they think and want, how they view the government
    3. Integrating insights from psychology and the behavioral sciences into the study of public administration: Behavioral sciences and psychology don't necesarry look at the context of public administration 
  • In what fields the behavioral approach is already used?
    Political Psychology -> plurastic in terms of theory and methods
    Behavioral Economics -> mostly cognitive psychology, cognitive bias, mostly quantitative.
  • KC 3 Prospect Theory Goes Public - Bellé et al. 2018

  • What are three cognitive biases?
    1. Rational decision making vs. Bounded Rationality
    2. Prospect Theory
    3. Cognitive Biases
  • What are the core assumptions on cognitive biases from Belle et al?
    1. People are not fully rational decision-makers, they are not robots. 
    2. People are predictably irrational. People tend to systematic deviate from rational decision-making. 
  • On what assumptions is bounded rationality of Simon 1957 based?
    1. People don't have the capacity to gather and analyze information
    2. People don't analyse alternatives simultaneously, but sequentially

    • They stop when they find an option that is satisfactory = satisficing behaviour.  So an option that is satisfactory and meets their requirements
    3. People have a standard set of responses they will use when encoutering an issue 

    = Optimal decision is not used, but the process is more efficient
  • KC 2 Motivated Reasoning (Kunda, 1999)

  • Why is Motivated Reasoning important for decision making?
    1. The type of motivation a person has affects a range of behaviors related to decision making.

    2. Direction-orientated motivated people, tend to scrutinize (naukeurig onderzoeken) information that goes against their beliefs and accept information that supports their beliefs.
  • Why is MR relevant to public administration?
    It is a generic psychological mechanism. It affects the behavior of politicians, civil servants and citizend.
  • What types of motivations are there? Example?
    1. Motivation to be accurate: put in cognitive effort and try to be unbiased:
    • Health insurance: Cognitive effort, but still satisficing behavioral.

    2. Motivation to arrive at a conclusion: driven by directional goals, so their goal is to find evidence that fits their prior beliefs.
    • Climate change denial: Biased selection. But still within bounds of appearing rational to others.
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