A prototype that could be used in computer games or e-learning to help train users in decision making is the focus of a study of researchers at Queen’s University Belfast. The theory is taht by using the game to help players improve their ability recognise and make allowances for their subjective opinions and biases, and accurately factor in their uncertainty over a decision’s likely outcome provides a robust basis for improved decision making.
Most of us are unconsciously biased in our decision making, based on past learning style and experiences. The game methodology helps people move out of their subjective conditioning and to analyse simple and complex choices in a more logical way.
According to Dr David Newman “Whether the choices facing us are simple or complex, a greater awareness of uncertainty and of our own biases can improve the quality of our decision-making. We believe there’s real potential for people to acquire that awareness through computer games”.
Most academic models or scientific based decision making tools can appear to be rather complex to many users. To help them understand the basis for decision making, and recognize how much subjective biases enter into decision making, the game may be a welcome catalyst to a de-programming of damaging Socratic educational backgrounds.
At this stage, the game is purely being used as a research tool to enable researchers to find out more about the thought processes and psychological mechanisms involved in decision making – but the potential for more interactive assistance for executive training in decision making is obvious.
The results in helping to make better decisions have yet to be determined, but it offers an interesting option.