Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Beyond Misperception–Two Types of Mental Model Errors in a Dynamic Decision Task

Version 1 : Received: 29 June 2021 / Approved: 1 July 2021 / Online: 1 July 2021 (10:33:42 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 1 July 2021 / Approved: 2 July 2021 / Online: 2 July 2021 (10:26:06 CEST)

How to cite: Schaffernicht, M.; López-Astorga, M.; Rojas-Barahona, C.; Castillo, R. Beyond Misperception–Two Types of Mental Model Errors in a Dynamic Decision Task. Preprints 2021, 2021070004 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0004.v1). Schaffernicht, M.; López-Astorga, M.; Rojas-Barahona, C.; Castillo, R. Beyond Misperception–Two Types of Mental Model Errors in a Dynamic Decision Task. Preprints 2021, 2021070004 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0004.v1).

Abstract

This article contributes to research on mental models and how they underpin decision policies. It proposes a framework for the joint use of mental models of dynamic systems and the theory of mental models initiated by Johnson–Laird and defines two types of errors: (1) misrepresentation of the system’s structure, and (2) failure to deploy relevant mental models of possibilities. We use a dynamic decision task based on Moxnes’ “reindeer experiment” to formulate three intuitive policies, their underlying mental models, and the reasoning, and evaluate the policies under varying initial conditions. Each of the policies generates problematic behaviors like dependance on initial conditions, underperformance because of flawed goal setting and oscillation due to leaving the delay in a feedback loop out of account. We identify errors of both types in the mental models and relate them to the behavioral problems. Limitations and questions for further research conclude the paper.

Subject Areas

Mental Models; Dynamic Decision Making; Systems Thinking; Learning;

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