Psychological Characteristics of Leaders (PsyCL): A New Data Set

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This article introduces the Psychological Characteristics of Leaders (PsyCL) data set. Foreign policy decisions are made by humans, and human psychology affects those decisions. While structural factors likely shape policy challenges and opportunities, excluding humans from our models is certain to miss important factors. Psychology has been excluded in the past in part because of the lack of data; PsyCL begins to address this problem. We discuss the importance of psychology in decision-making, describe the structure and scope of the data and its flexible units of analysis, present some simple empirical examples, and conclude with thoughts on future research.

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Foreign Policy Analysis

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