Cognitive Support Requirements for Decision Making in Complex Systems


  1. Lafond, D.
  2. DuCharme, M.B.
  3. Jean-François, G.
  4. Trembley, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN);Laval Univ, Quebec QUE (CAN)
The present paper reports an experiment studying the cognitive functions required for' effective decision making in a complex and dynamic environment. In particular, we studied the effects of anticipating the consequences of a decision and of strategy elaboration. Participants performed a simulated society management task in one of three conditions: i) a baseline condition, ii) a condition that requires participants to anticipate the outcomes of their decisions, or iii) a condition that provides a decision aid which automates the anticipation function. The degree of strategy elaboration was measured using a post-experimental questionnaire. Participants performed comparably in the three conditions. However, we found that in the two anticipation conditions there was a significant positive correlation between the degree of strategy elaboration and task performance. Our analysis suggests that two cognitive functions may be jointly necessary for effective decision making in a complex and dynamic environment: anticipation (integration and application of structural knowledge), and strategy elaboration (identification of sub-goals based on system understanding).
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-SL-2009-382 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Nov 2009
Number of Pages
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