Toward Simple Representative Mathematical Models of Naturalistic Decision Making Through Fast-and-Frugal Heuristics

TitleToward Simple Representative Mathematical Models of Naturalistic Decision Making Through Fast-and-Frugal Heuristics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsCanellas, M. C., and K. M. Feigh
JournalJournal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making
Start Page255--267
Date Published09/2016
Keywordscomputational models, Decision making, decision support, fast-and-frugal heuristics, judgment, mathematical models, naturalistic decision making

Naturalistic decision making (NDM) describes how people make decisions with time pressure and other complexities in familiar and meaningful environments. The complexities of NDM, while essential for a thorough understanding of experts, have limited the use of NDM in decision support system (DSS) design and decision analysis. There have been attempts to computationally model NDM theories, however, to do so has required significant programming skill, resulting in opaque models, while still leaving significant portions of the theories unrepresented. To provide a path toward simple, representative, mathematical models of NDM, we present a general mathematical form that can model most of the components of the judgment and decision making strategies from the fast-and-frugal heuristics (FFH) program. As a case study, the NDM Quick Test Process was transformed into representative FFH components and then into mathematical form. The results show that the Quick Test Process is similar to the FFH strategy, Tallying, which itself is a type of fast-and-frugal tree. While the mathematical form does not capture all the cognitive processes at work, it does provide a simple, representative form for use in DSS design and decision analysis. Moreover, the model's basis in the extensive human-subjects, mathematical, and computational analyses completed by the FFH program provides another method for integrating FFH and NDM by providing: (1) a framework for generating constructive questions about how NDM theories account for FFH components, (2) a basis for prescriptive NDM decision support tools which are easy to communicate, understand, and apply, and (3) a method for approximating experience and expertise, and time pressure.
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Map of Cognitive Engineering Center

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