TitleLearning about military effectiveness
NameVacca, William Alexander (author), Levy, Jack (chair), Licklider, Roy (internal member), Rhodes, Edward (internal member), Friedberg, Aaron (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905
DescriptionThis dissertation tests the relative effectiveness of the Bayesian rational choice, bureaucratic interest, cognitive psychological, and ideational research programs in explaining how observers draw conclusions from the experience of others. I examine the conclusions reached by members of the armies and navies of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States about the effectiveness of certain military and naval tactics and armaments during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Drawing on the primary source material generated by accredited observers, official military histories, and professional publications of military officers, and employing learning hypotheses generated by the four contending research programs, I am able to draw conclusions about the use of these research programs for scholars seeking to understand the process and outcomes of vicarious learning.
The results of these tests indicate that the ideational research program, which emphasizes culturally constructed and shared heuristics and ideas, is able to explain the most variation in the conclusions drawn by these observers and commentators about the Russo-Japanese War. The bureaucratic interest based approach does an extremely poor job of explaining these same outcomes. Both the Bayesian rational choice and the cognitive psychological model show mixed success. While they are each able to demonstrate some explanatory value, they fail to predict important aspects of the learning experience. The ideational approach explains all that is explained by the other research programs, as well as much that the other approaches left unexplained.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 419-455)
Noteby William Alexander Vacca
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.