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Prospect Theory And Democracy In Haiti

2504 words - 11 pages

I. The Introduction:
On September 30, 1991 a military coup in Haiti overthrew the newly elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The United States had just agreed to a policy of upholding democracy when the military junta and General Raoul Cedras overthrew Aristide. The U.S. was unable to accept the new heads of power and both the Bush and Clinton Administrations attempted to force these illegitimate leaders out of office so that Aristide could be reinstalled (Robyn, 1). Several attempts were made by both administrations before finally succeeding in an agreement to get Cedras out of power and Aristide back in.
This is the second Case Study on the United States reaction to the 1994 ...view middle of the document...

A domain of gain is when an actor is risk adverse. It is unlikely that the actor will make a risky decision, everything is working well and any change would be considered a risk the actor is not willing to make. The actor would already be making good decisions and he is satisfied with the choices being made. However, when an actor is risk acceptance this is not the case. Risk acceptance is when an actor is in a domain of loss. He is in a position where he does not require a whole lot to persuade him to move forward with new choices. “Prospect theory predicts that preferences will depend on how a problem is framed. If the reference point is defined such that an outcome is viewed as a gain, then the resulting value function will be concave and decision makers will tend to be risk averse. On the other hand, if the reference point is defined such that an outcome is viewed as a loss, then the value function will be convex and decision makers will be risk seeking” (Plous, 97).
The variable defined, also known as the dependent variable, in Prospect Theory is choice. This theory is trying to explain how choices are made and what influences an actor’s decision. The actors’ decisions can be explained by the independent variables: the domain of gain, domain of loss, and the expected utility, the probability times the given utility. Here the expected utility has to be big enough to sway an actor to change his position, where in Rational Choice Theory the expected utility would only need to be an increase, no matter how small, and change would occur.
It is important to explain the idea of Prospect Theory before it is looked at in relation to the United States and the 1994 involvement in Haiti. The rest of this paper will explore the idea of Prospect Theory and how it might have been incorporated into the U.S.’s decision making towards the problems occurring in Haiti. The theory will look at how and why power was exercised among the U.S. over this period of time.
III. The Hypotheses:
Given the Prospect Theory we will expect to see two hypotheses used by the United States in relation to its decision to invade Haiti in 1994. Both hypotheses are made while only taking the theory into account, before even looking at the United Sates and what processes it used to decide whether or not it would invade Haiti.
The first hypothesis we will look at relates to the Prospect Theory and a domain of loss. This means that the Unite States would have been accepting to making a risky decision in invading Haiti. The U.S. would have been looking for a reason to change what they were doing and to make a decision that might benefit or harm them, as long as change occurred. In this scenario the U.S. would have been more than open to new choices and decisions and that would have included an invasion on Haiti.
The second hypothesis recognizes a domain of gain. The United States would have been risk adverse, it would have been in a position where it would not want to invade...

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