Tracing decision processes in complex, ambiguous, information-rich environments

Nicole J. Weeks, Colin A. Wastell, Alan J. Taylor, Alexander J. Wearing, Piers Duncan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In order to understand analytic processes in organisations, better tools are required to trace decision processes. An impediment to progress in this area has been the tendency to over-simplify inherently complex information environments or the data that they produce. We address this issue by providing worked examples from the Analysis Simulation Project (ASP). ASP methodology consists of a computer-administered information grid of 64 cells of 50-130 words each. The information accessing activity of participants is recorded. Our results present novel approaches to maintaining optimal complexity in environmental representation and data analysis. Specifically we demonstrate how computer-mediated process tracing methods can simulate the cognitive experience of complexity and how the data can be used to examine behaviour at increasing levels of complexity. We conclude that computer-mediated process-tracing tools provide an opportunity to comprehensively model complex information processing behaviour and therefore allow improved insight into phenomena with similar outcomes but distinct processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)158-173
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational journal of psychological studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Information
    • Process tracing
    • Decision-making
    • Selection
    • Bias
    • Hypothesis test
    • Methodology
    • Tunnel vision

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