Robert Jervis presented a two-step model that can be utilized to examine or analyze decisions made by the state or the actors concerned. His model is hinged on perception and its effects on the decision-making process. He discussed two important propositions by which his model can take effect. The first proposition he made was to examine a decision-maker’s perception as a possible immediate cause of his behavior.
Basically, Jervis suggests that a decision can be analyzed by looking at how the actor saw the situation. This is in contrast with the process of examining policies as direct results or consequences of different variable at the different levels of analysis which Jervis also discussed. The second proposition that Jervis made was that the images or perception must be related to reality or when this is not possible, to the information that was available to the actor at the time the decision was made.
Jervis points out that an analysis must take into consideration how the images were formed and how the available information contributed to the formation of such images. It must be noted that these two propositions form Jervis’ “perception model. ” Therefore, both steps must be taken when utilizing the model as basis for analysis. Basically, these propositions were developed because as Jervis argued, if perceptions did not affect decisions, then all actors must make similar decisions when placed in the same situations.
However, the reality is that statesmen do not arrive at the same decisions even when placed in the same scenarios. Jervis attributed such differences in decisions to differences to the differences of how the actors perceive the environment the situation where they find themselves in. It is for this reason that the two propositions were developed and subsequently, that Jervis suggested his two-step perception model.