Publications

  • Francis A. Beer
    PsycCRITIQUES 01/2010; 55(16).
  • Francis A. Beer Professor Emeritus, G. R. Boynton Professor
    03/2009: pages 201 - 215; , ISBN: 9781444302936
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    ABSTRACT: Two experiments examined participants' responses to simulated news reports of terrorist attacks. Participants were told that a nondemocratic nation had sponsored strikes on military and cultural or educational sites in the United States. Participants in both experiments reacted more conflictually to terrorist attacks on military sites than to those on cultural or educational sites. Their conflictual responses on a thermometer scale escalated after repeated attacks. When tested in 2002 and 2004, 1 and 3 years after the real World Trade Center attacks, participants' reactions were more conflictual than those of participants examined before September 11, 2001. Furthermore, current participants' fear and anger increased, and forgiveness decreased, over repeated simulated attacks. Participants lower in masculinity showed more fear and less anger than did those higher in masculinity. This study shows that terrorist attacks produce more than simple terror.
    The American Journal of Psychology 02/2009; 122(2):153-65. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    Francis A. Beer
    Political Psychology 07/2008; 29(4):627 - 630. · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • Francis A Beer, G. R. Boynton
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    ABSTRACT: As globalization gathers momentum at the beginning of the 21st century, global communication is increasingly important. Part of this process is global news, which has emerged as a separate genre made possible by the development of new communication technology. Media elites have used the ability to communicate from anywhere to anywhere in real time to create a new global space, which has become a domain for global political action. In this space, media elites mix political content with entertainment values in news reality television, the global political theater of the real. Capturing images from the vast ocean of daily human activity, they create breaking news. They help construct dramatic political characters like Osama bin Laden. They weave past and present experience together in gripping ongoing stories like terrorism that give meaning to current events and prefigure the future.
    01/2004;
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    Francis A Beer
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes the results of a set of psychological experiments with US college students. Subjects responded variably to reports of war and terrorist attacks, depending on prior priming and individual attributes.
    01/2004: pages 139-167; , ISBN: 0-08-043989-6
  • Francis A. Beer
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    ABSTRACT: Philosophy and Rhetoric 37.2 (2004) 176-180 "Would it be prudent?" The phrase echoes in memory, linking Dana Carvey from Saturday Night Live to the presidency of the first George Bush. Robert Hariman has been wrestling with prudence for over a decade, and he has now produced a powerful volume that brings together not only his thoughts but also those of a number of other distinguished authors. The result is a book that will become a standard reference for those interested in prudence. The subtitle, Classical Virtue, Postmodern Practice, and the title of the first chapter, "Theory without Modernity," give some idea of the subtexts that drive the book. This is a book about prudence, and more. It is about virtue in classical, modern, and postmodern settings. It is about the dynamic complexity of practice—decision, judgment, and action in public and private life. Hariman gives us a definition: "Prudence is a mode of reasoning about contingent matters in order to select the best course of action" (5). That would be too easy. He also surrounds prudence with a penumbra of related words to broaden our understanding of the complex lattice of semantic meaning. Our legacy from the Greek and Roman lexicon includes words like phronesis and prudentia. Contemporary nouns involve cautiousness, circumspection, and care. Related adjectives are "careful, judicious, tactful, discerning, sensible, frugal, wise, sage, level-headed, balanced, moderate, politic, practical pragmatic, expedient" (vii). These synonyms, for Hariman, describe a narrow, modern form of prudence, part of the calculative tradition inherited from Aristotle, that ultimately leads to the saddle points of rational choice. They are, however, only a part of the story. Hariman aims to relieve their "stodginess" by recovering the performative tradition of prudence from Cicero. Prudence, from this perspective, is defined not just abstractly as a set of rules but more dynamically as a set of roles. Prudence includes character, and is performed by characters. Pericles in Athens is an iconic example of superb political leadership that blends the honor of the leader with the glory of the state. Prudence combines integrity of the self with respect for others. This is a broad, ambitious interpretation of prudence. It recuperates not only a classical vision of prudence but also one of politics. It rearranges other virtues to revolve in a constellation around prudence. In this reconstituted form, prudence reemerges to shine as "a crucial element of political leadership," the central political virtue. The book is divided into three parts: "Conceptual Frameworks," "Rhetorical Structures," and "Provisional Networks." All three of the sections are identified in structural terms, which is interesting since Hariman's conception of prudence as a primary political virtue is very agent-centered. The structures, however, provide the settings in which the political observers and actors perform. The first section provides a sample of the rich literature that focuses on philosophical concepts of prudence in earlier times and places. It begins with a chapter by Robert W. Cape Jr. that discusses "Cicero and the Development of Political Practice in Rome." This chapter is critical to the book, since it lays a part of the foundation. It is the first substantive essay and it must also make the case for combining calculative and performative prudence. Cape gives us a fine exposition of prudentia in the Roman context. Interestingly, he suggests that "prudentia is a contraction of providentia, "'foresight.'" (37).The virtue of prudence was typically associated with age and experience. Imprudence, on the other hand, was associated with youth, recklessness, and impropriety (37). Prudence involved knowledge of practical matters, law, and custom as well as proper speech, including rhetoric, and behavior. Prepon mattered. Prudence for Cicero, however, was much more than simply knowing how things work: it was ultimately the extended performance of justice on the public stage. The next chapter, by Eugene Garver, entitled "After Virtù: Rhetoric, Prudence, and Moral Pluralism in Machiavelli," moves the story of prudence from the late classical to the early modern period. As the title indicates, Garver's concern is also with the relation of prudence and virtue. In a...
    Philosophy and Rhetoric 01/2004; 37(2):176-180.
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    Lyle E. Bourne Jr, Alice F. Healy, Francis A. Beer
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    ABSTRACT: Several experiments, focusing on decisions made by young, voting-age citizens of the United States about how to respond to incidents of international conflict, are summarized. Participants recommended measured reactions to an initial attack. Repeated attacks led to escalated reaction, however, eventually matching or exceeding the conflict level of the attack itself. If a peace treaty between contending nations was in place, women were more forgiving of an attack, and men were more aggressive. There was little overall difference in reactions to terrorist versus military attacks. Participants responded with a higher level of conflict to terrorist attacks on military than on cultural-educational targets. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Review of General Psychology 05/2003; 7(2):189-202. · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    Francis A Beer, G. R Boynton
    Poroi. 01/2003;
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    ABSTRACT: Three experiments conducted in 1997 and 1998 explored individual responses to reported fictitious international conflict involving the United States and other nations. Participants escalated the conflictual level of their responses to repeated attacks. In Experiment 1, escalation of conflict was greater in response to terrorist attacks than to military ones. In Experiment 2, after the initial attacks, men were more conflictual in responding to terrorist attacks by a democratic nation than by a nondemocratic nation, whereas the opposite pattern was found for women. In Experiment 3, participants responded with a higher level of conflict to terrorist attacks on military targets than to attacks on cultural/educational targets. Participants with greater personality dominance showed steeper escalation of conflict in their responses across successive attacks. These results are interpreted within the framework of an image theory of international relations and an expansion of the democratic peace hypothesis.
    Political Psychology 12/2002; 23(3):439 - 467. · 1.71 Impact Factor
  • Francis A. Beer
    American Political Science Review - AMER POLIT SCI REV. 01/2002; 96(03).
  • F. A. Beer, Landtsheer de C
    Communication Research - COMMUN RES. 01/1999;
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    Francis A Beer, G Robert Boynton
    01/1998;
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this experiment was to investigate the influence of an existing peace treaty between two hostile nations on decisions about whether and how to retaliate against one nation's transgression. Two fictitious neighboring countries, Ashland and Bagumba, were described to research participants as having been locked in an historical struggle of tension and hostility. Participants were asked to choose a course of action by the United States, an ally of Afslandia, in response to a hostile act by Bagumba against Afslandia. Half the participants were told that, shortly before Bagumba's transgression, these two countries had signed a peace agreement. Although there was no overall difference in the level of conflict chosen by participants in response to Bagumba's act, the existence of a peace treaty interacted significantly with gender. Men in the peace treaty condition chose retaliatory conflictual actions that exceeded those chosen in the no-peace-treaty condition. Under a peace treaty, women moderated their responses relative to those in the no-peace-treaty condition. The guiding principle for men seemed to be justice and an eye for an eye. For women, the guiding principle seemed to be preservation of the relationship established in the treaty.
    Peace and Conflict. 06/1996; 2(2):143-149.
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    G R Boynton, Francis A Beer
    05/1996;
  • Francis A. Beer, Robert Hariman
    edited by Francis A. Beer and Robert Hariman, 01/1996; MIchigan State University Press.
  • Francis A. Beer
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    ABSTRACT: Validity is a central legitimating word in the lexicon of political science, suggesting the connection of scientific theory and research with the political world. Validity is constrained by uncontrollable variance in sampling, context, text, and analysis. Judgements of validity include scientific and political dimensions, implying serious anomalies. These may be partly dissolved by more complex definition and decomposition into multiple, parallel, switchable validities.
    Social Epistemology 03/1993; 7(1):85-105.
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    ABSTRACT: A set of psychological laboratory experiments were conducted to refine a scale that could be used to study cognition and decision‐making in international cooperation and conflict events. The COPDAB scale, ranking international conflict and cooperation, was expanded and reanalyzed. The original 15 point scale was augmented to include four actors and three new categories for nuclear conflict. The new 18 point scale was used as a template to generate separate sets of action and message items. These items were administered in alternative orders and ranked by political science graduate students and psychology undergraduates. There were four major sets of findings. 1) Action and message items across all 18 ranks provided separate and similar scaling outcomes. 2) Cooperative items in the bottom 7 ranks continued to be difficult to rank properly. They were given cooperative values, but did not increase monotonically across experimental ranks. 3) Conflictual items in the top 10 ranks increased more regularly across scale categories. The observed values were closer to expected results, except for the borderline between conventional and nuclear weapons. The conflictual portions of the two 18 point action and message scales can be used with prudence. Well behaved items may be appropriate for psychological experiments with particular applicability to 4 party scenarios previously in Germany and Vietnam, presently in Korea. 4) Anomalous items provide valuable information about the scope and limits of ranking international events, with particular reference to wording effects. These 4 sets of findings are relevant to a number of different areas of inquiry: international events data; psychological laboratory experiments on cooperation and conflict; symbolic politics, including political rhetoric, political communication, political linguistics, and natural language processing. Most importantly, they bring us a step closer to replicating the complexity and variation of real world international perception and decision. As they do so, they help us toward a more sophisticated understanding and a better theory of cooperative and conflictual international interactions.
    International Interactions 05/1992; 17(4):321-348. · 0.70 Impact Factor
  • Francis A. Beer
    Review of International Studies 03/1986; 12(02):95 - 106. · 1.11 Impact Factor
  • Francis A. Beer
    The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 01/1984; 20(4):323-342. · 1.21 Impact Factor

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