Decision Making in Action: Models and Methods

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This book describes the new perspective of naturalistic decision making. The point of departure is how people make decisions in complex, time-pressured, ambiguous, and changing environments. The purpose of this book is to present and elaborate on past models developed to explain this type of decision making. The central philosophy of the book is that classical decision theory has been unproductive since it is so heavily grounded in economics and mathematics. The contributors believe there is little to be learned from laboratory studies about how people actually handle difficult and interesting tasks; therefore, the book presents a critique of classical decision theory. The models of naturalistic decision making described by the contributors were derived to explain the behavior of firefighters, business people, jurors, nuclear power plant operators, and command-and-control officers. The models are unique in that they address the way people use experience to frame situations and adopt courses of action. The models explain the strengths of skilled decision makers. Naturalistic decision research requires the examination of field settings, and a section of the book covers methods for conducting meaningful research outside the laboratory. In addition, since his approach has applied value, the book covers issues of training and decision support systems.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780893919436
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Series: Cognition and Literacy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 5.68 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Sect. A Introduction
1 The Reinvention of Decision Making 3
2 Why Classical Decision Theory Is an Inappropriate Standard for Evaluating and Aiding Most Human Decision Making 21
3 Three Paradigms for Viewing Decision Biases 36
4 The Naturalistic Basis of Decision Biases 51
Sect. B Models of Naturalistic Decision Making
5 Converging Themes in the Study of Decision Making in Realistic Settings 103
6 A Recognition-Primed Decision (RPD) Model of Rapid Decision Making 138
7 Image Theory: Personal and Organizational Decisions 148
8 Deciding and Doing: Decision Making in Natural Contexts 158
9 Decision Making as Argument-Driven Action 172
10 The Search for a Dominance Structure in Decision Making: Examining the Evidence 182
11 A Theory of Explanation-Based Decision Making 188
Sect. C Methods of Naturalistic Decision Research
12 Naturalistic Decision Making from a Brunswikian Viewpoint: Its Past, Present, Future 205
13 Process-Tracing Methods for the Study of Cognition Outside of the Experimental Psychology Laboratory 228
14 A Comment on Applying Experimental Findings of Cognitive Biases to Naturalistic Environments 252
Sect. D Applications of Naturalistic Decision Models
15 The Bottom Line: Naturalistic Decision Aiding 265
16 Evolutionary Design of Systems to Support Decision Making 270
17 A Model to Support Development of Situation Assessment Aids 287
18 Training Decision Makers for the Real World 306
19 Team Decision Making in Complex Environments 327
20 Team Decision-Making Biases: An Information-Processing Perspective 346
Sect. E Review of Current Progress
21 A Laboratory Scientist's View of Naturalistic Decision Making 362
22 Twenty Questions: Suggestions for Research in Naturalistic Decision Making 389
23 Conclusions: Decision Making in Action 404
References 412
Author Index 461
Subject Index 472
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