Augmenting Cognition in Complex Situation Management – Projection of Outcomes Improves Strategy Efficiency


  1. Lafond, D.
  2. DuCharme, M.B.
  3. St-Louis, M-E.
  4. Tremblay, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
We investigated the effects of a decision aid designed to support the development of effective long term strategies when seeking to influence a complex adaptive system. The experiment compared a test condition with feedforward support (i.e., outcome projection) against a baseline condition both in terms of cognitive processing and goal attainment (i.e., strategy efficiency). Results show that the decision aid significantly improved the development of effective long term strategies, yet detracted participants from engaging in information acquisition behaviors. In both conditions, participants displayed a poor (unaided) ability to anticipate the system’s near term behavior, which was significantly lower in the decision aid condition. Goal attainment was positively related to frequency and comprehensiveness of information acquisition, Level 3 situation awareness (near term projection), and the degree to which the participants’ strategies were proactive. The decision aid therefore clearly helped overcome a serious limitation in human processing abilities in terms of outcome projection (thus helping participants develop better strategies). However, results show that decision aids may also come with certain drawbacks that need to be systematically identified and mitigated to obtain the full benefits of cognitive support technology.
Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-SL-2011-457 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Feb 2011
Number of Pages
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