I explain the logic and real-time track record of the expected utility model used for forecasting the outcome and dynamics of political choices. The model represents an example of applied modeling. It is a tool designed for practical application. As such, some sacrifices in theoretical or analytic purity are made to gain empirical leverage. At the same time, the model remains faithful to the rational choice perspective that suggests that decision makers do what they believe is in their best interest. Decision makers are modeled as individuals with bounded rationality, who are not able to look ahead over an unbounded time horizon, but instead see only one move ahead of their current choice. Furthermore, while they update information, they do so crudely. I also attempt to explain limitations of the model and areas for further improvement.
- Decision making
- Expected utility
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations