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Revisiting the problem of credibility in the age of post-truth

Jönsson, Christer LU (2020) In International Negotiation 25(1). p.78-92
Abstract

This essay raises the question whether citizens in the digital age can learn from how credibility is treated in international negotiations. Negotiators face problems both in attempting to send credible signals and in making credibility assessments of received signals. Several studies, starting with Schelling's seminal analysis of commitments, indicate that credible signals are those that are somehow costly to the sender. Contributions to our understanding of how recipients make credibility assessments include Jervis's distinction between signals (with no inherent credibility) and indices (believed to be untainted by deception). The most general conclusion emerging from existing research is that there is no definitive, infallible... (More)

This essay raises the question whether citizens in the digital age can learn from how credibility is treated in international negotiations. Negotiators face problems both in attempting to send credible signals and in making credibility assessments of received signals. Several studies, starting with Schelling's seminal analysis of commitments, indicate that credible signals are those that are somehow costly to the sender. Contributions to our understanding of how recipients make credibility assessments include Jervis's distinction between signals (with no inherent credibility) and indices (believed to be untainted by deception). The most general conclusion emerging from existing research is that there is no definitive, infallible solution to the problem of credibility, insofar as deception and misperception are intrinsic to all signaling systems. Today's unfortunate combination of limited awareness of credibility problems, on the one hand, and technological advances facilitating deception, on the other, calls for intensified education as well as multidisciplinary research.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Cheap talk, Coercive diplomacy, Commitment, Credibility, Deception, Signaling
in
International Negotiation
volume
25
issue
1
pages
15 pages
publisher
Brill Academic Publishers
external identifiers
  • scopus:85081998973
ISSN
1382-340X
DOI
10.1163/15718069-23031165
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d3927bf9-6b7b-4584-9c3f-cd9a5109f818
date added to LUP
2020-04-08 09:46:13
date last changed
2020-04-09 01:57:38
@article{d3927bf9-6b7b-4584-9c3f-cd9a5109f818,
  abstract     = {<p>This essay raises the question whether citizens in the digital age can learn from how credibility is treated in international negotiations. Negotiators face problems both in attempting to send credible signals and in making credibility assessments of received signals. Several studies, starting with Schelling's seminal analysis of commitments, indicate that credible signals are those that are somehow costly to the sender. Contributions to our understanding of how recipients make credibility assessments include Jervis's distinction between signals (with no inherent credibility) and indices (believed to be untainted by deception). The most general conclusion emerging from existing research is that there is no definitive, infallible solution to the problem of credibility, insofar as deception and misperception are intrinsic to all signaling systems. Today's unfortunate combination of limited awareness of credibility problems, on the one hand, and technological advances facilitating deception, on the other, calls for intensified education as well as multidisciplinary research.</p>},
  author       = {Jönsson, Christer},
  issn         = {1382-340X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {78--92},
  publisher    = {Brill Academic Publishers},
  series       = {International Negotiation},
  title        = {Revisiting the problem of credibility in the age of post-truth},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15718069-23031165},
  doi          = {10.1163/15718069-23031165},
  volume       = {25},
  year         = {2020},
}