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Appl Ergon. 2017 Jan;58:349-360. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2016.07.009. Epub 2016 Aug 5.

A cognitive prosthesis for complex decision-making.

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École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada. Electronic address:
Thales Research & Technology Canada, Québec City, Québec, Canada.
École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada; Department of Applied Psychology, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, UK.
École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.


While simple heuristics can be ecologically rational and effective in naturalistic decision making contexts, complex situations require analytical decision making strategies, hypothesis-testing and learning. Sub-optimal decision strategies - using simplified as opposed to analytic decision rules - have been reported in domains such as healthcare, military operational planning, and government policy making. We investigate the potential of a computational toolkit called "IMAGE" to improve decision-making by developing structural knowledge and increasing understanding of complex situations. IMAGE is tested within the context of a complex military convoy management task through (a) interactive simulations, and (b) visualization and knowledge representation capabilities. We assess the usefulness of two versions of IMAGE (desktop and immersive) compared to a baseline. Results suggest that the prosthesis helped analysts in making better decisions, but failed to increase their structural knowledge about the situation once the cognitive prosthesis is removed.


Complex decision making; Knowledge representation; Visual analytics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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