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Article

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Published In: Journal of Political Science Education, (Coming in 2014).

Abstract

Simulations are often employed as content-teaching tools in political science, but their effect on students reasoning skills is rarely assessed. This paper explores what effect the Statecraft simulation might have on undergraduate students perceptions of their decision making. As noted by the psychologist Daniel Kahneman (2012: 203), decisions are often evaluated on the basis of whether their outcomes are good or bad, not whether a sound reasoning process was used to reach them. A survey was administered at multiple points in an international relations course to gauge students satisfaction with the decision-making processes and outcomes in their respective teams during the Statecraft simulation. Students also engaged in exercises in which their teams tentative plans were evaluated as if the plans had generated unfavorable outcomes after implementation. An analysis of students reactions to the Statecraft simulation, their performance in the simulation, and other data showed no obvious association between Statecraft and changes in student perceptions of their decision making.

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