Should we simulate mental models to assess whether they agree?

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Modeling approaches can support policy coherence by capturing the logistics of an intervention involving multiple individuals, or by identifying goals and preferences of each individual. An important intermediate step is to identify agreement among individuals. This may be achieved through intensive qualitative methods such as interviews, or by automatically comparing models. Current comparisons are limited as they either assess whether individuals think of the same factors, or see the same causal connections between factors. Systems science suggests that, to test whether individuals really share a paradigm, we should mobilize their whole models. Instead of comparing their whole models through multiple simulation scenarios, we suggested using network centrality. We performed experiments on mental models from 264 participants in the context of fishery management. Our results suggest that if stakeholder groups agree on the central factors (per Katz centrality), they also tend to agree on simulation outcomes and thus share a paradigm.

Lavin, E.A., Giabbanelli, P.J., Stefanik, A.T., Gray, S.A., Arlinghaus, R. (2018) Should we simulate mental models to assess whether they agree? Proceedings of the 2018 Annual Simulation Symposium (ANSS 2018), Article 6, 1-12


Veröffentlicht: 2018
Erschienen in: Proceedings of the 2018 Annual Simulation Symposium (ANSS 2018), Article 6, 1-12