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Title: The general’s intuition : overconfidence, pattern matching, and the inchon landing decision
Authors: Vennesson, Pascal
Huan, Amanda
Keywords: Inchon Landing
Korean War
DRNTU::Social sciences::Military and naval science
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Vennesson, P., & Huan, A. (2018). The General’s Intuition. Armed Forces & Society, 44(3), 498-520. doi:10.1177/0095327X17738771
Series/Report no.: Armed Forces & Society
Abstract: Can we trust the operational intuitions of generals? The proponents of the overconfidence model, one of the most influential perspectives in the psychology of judgment, commonly offer a skeptical answer. Generals’ operational intuitions are likely to be hampered by overconfidence and negatively affect military effectiveness. However, the successful operational outcome of General Douglas MacArthur’s decision to land at Inchon (June–September 1950) seemingly contradicts the model. We seek to complement and refine the overconfidence model by examining the Inchon landing decision through the analytical lens of the recognition-primed decision model. This model typically envisions that under specific circumstances—notably an experienced decision maker, an adequate environment regularity, and an opportunity to learn—generals are able to make quick and satisfactory decisions. We show that such a configuration was present in the Inchon landing case and helps explain both the decision process and its successful outcome.
ISSN: 0095-327X
DOI: 10.1177/0095327X17738771
Rights: © 2017 The Author(s). All rights reserved. This paper was published by SAGE Publications in Armed Forces & Society and is made available with permission of The Author(s).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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