The Role of Mental Models in Dynamic Decision-making

Le rôle des modèles mentaux dans la prise de décision dynamique


  1. Brown, A.
  2. Karthaus, C.
  3. Rehak, L.
  4. Adams, B.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
The complex and dynamic nature of various types of operations pose specific cognitive challenges on the decision-making process that the current training regiment of military commanders does not directly address. Therefore, DRDC Toronto is interested in researching training techniques to prepare Canadian Forces (CF) commanders and staff for decision-making in such complex and dynamic environments (12sk). This report provides a review of relevant DDM literature and mental models literature as it relates to DDM. DDM consists of (1) decision maker(s) (2) in a complex environment (3) attempting to accomplish one or more tasks. DDM is required in environments with high risk and complexity, and involves the performance of tasks requiring multiple steps, that are inherently time sensitive, interdependent, and which exert influence over the surrounding environment as well as being influenced by it. Dynamic decision-making has been explored from different perspectives, including systems theory, psychology, and control theory from the engineering domain. These perspectives put varying amounts of focus on different aspects of DDM. What is common to all of these approaches are the assumptions that whether forming models of complex systems or making intuitive decisions based on very little information, people tend to form some sort of mental model to undertake DDM. At a broad level, mental models can be described as personal mental representations of our world. Although there is no one ag

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mental models;dynamic decision making;microworlds;system dynamics;cognition;control theory;situation models
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2009-060 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Mar 2009
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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