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Team Introduction

TIP - introduce with all members facing class in center of room;  following introduction two members should sit down in provided seats, one member should work computer and the speaking member should face the class in the center of the front of the room;  rotate positions as desired during presentation

Topic:  1941 Pearl Harbor Attack

Research Question

Was surprise attacking the United States at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the best course of action for the Japanese government?

Results Summary

Based on ProACT decision analysis, we believe appropriate course of action for Japan was the original decision:  Surprise attack the U.S. Pacific Naval fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor.

The attack achieved two primary objectives

  1. Deliver a decapitating blow to the the United States Pacific Fleet so that Japan would have the strongest navy in the Pacific and would therefore be uncontested in their Pacific expansion, and

  2. Overcome the United States oil embargo by conquering the oil rich Dutch East Indies and Burma.

When all courses of action are placed on the same playing field in monetary terms, it is evident that the original decision is the course of action that satisfies the objectives the best. It delivers the decapitating blow to the Naval Fleet and it was very close to obtaining the second objective of collecting the most oil and natural resources.


Importance: Our topic analyzes whether or not the Japanese decision to attack America at Pearl Harbor was a good decision. This is an important topic because of the profound impact this decision has had on twentieth century history.

Background: Pearl Harbor attack facilitated the American entry into the Second World War, thereby altering the course of the war in favor of the Allies. This was a major turning point in the war; without it, the Axis may very well have been victorious. Had the Japanese decided differently, we would be living in a completely different world.

Decision Analysis: To investigate this topic, our team used the PrOACT decision analysis tool.

Words of Estimative Probability (WEPs)

Our team used words of estimative probability (WEP) to convey likelihood of an analysis coming to fruition. Team members used WEPs in descending level of confidence from: all but certain, highly likely, likely, chances are even, unlikely, highly unlikely. (TIP: further examples at

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