The Complexity Construct in Political Psychology – Personological and Cognitive Approaches


  1. Suedfeld, P.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);British Columbia Univ, Vancouver BC (CAN)
Measures of the cognitive complexity of leaders have been used to infer the flexibility, open-endedness, and information-orientation of their decision-making in international and non-state confrontations. At present, there are two major methods of “assessment at a distance” used in this context. One uses computer scoring to develop personality profiles of leaders; the other uses a more labour- and time-intensive human scoring system to track changes in the target’s thinking to predict the outcome of a particular confrontation. If computer scoring were able to make event-specific predictions, the saving in time and work would be substantial. This study compared the two systems to establish (a) whether the computer-scored system could replace human scoring, and (b) using the example of the South Ossetia War between Georgia and Russia, which method was a better predictor of rising and falling tension, The data confirmed the relevance of integrative complexity measurement in a new context, that of an ongoing confrontation with changing levels of tension, up to and including war, between a major and a minor national power.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

Predicting Crisis Outcome;Cognitive Complexity;Integrative Complexity;Conceptual Complexity
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2010-022 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Feb 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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