In a fully mathematically characterized model the

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Unformatted text preview: ewart, 2000; Stewart and Lusk, 1994). In a fully mathematically characterized model, the judgment equation is of the form shown in Equation 1: (1) Y = w1 X 1 + w2 X 2 + ... + wn X n + e where Y represents the judgment of certain event or phenomenon, Xn represents the information cues used in such judgment process, wn represents the relative weight that each information cue has on the judgment, and e represents the unavoidable uncertainty in the judgment process (for a more elaborate discussion of the lens model equation, see Stewart, 2001 ). In our model, the judgment of interest is the government’s judgment of a critical/crisis situation. For example, when the government confronts intelligence that suggests a possible terrorist attack, it needs to assess the situation and decide if action is warranted. To judge the situation, the government officials look at several information cues and combine them with different relative weights to conclude if the cues are indicative of eminent danger. Information cues might be intelligence reports, military activity abroad, previous terrorist attacks, or the release of a video about the threat on world media outlets. The government knows that the information cues are neither perfect nor complete, making the judgment process unavoidably uncertain and, therefore, subject to error. In addition, all errors are not the same in terms of consequences. On one hand, the government might err on the side of triggering unnecessary actions if the information cues that it judged to be a credible terrorist threat were not that in reality. In this case, the government may incur high financial costs and credibility-related costs with the citizenry. On the other hand, the 5 government might err on the side of not acting when action was actually warranted, potentially creating conditions that could have very negative consequences on the population (high financial cost, lives lost, etc.). In this second case, the government’s misjudgment of the situation might result in a major loss of confidence and trust that would...
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