The present research focuses on the definition of a procedure that can be used to develop a simulation to study decision making processes in everyday situations. More specifically the simulated environment should enable researchers to find the role of gender in decision making processes. Despite gender is a topic investigated in many researches - in fact a large number of papers covering different contexts can be easily found, from professional and organisational to economic field - it is also one of the most vexed question. The economic field appears to the one that shows the most different and conflicting findings (Sproles & Kendall 1986; Walsh et al. 2001). One of the limitations of many researches in economical decision making could depend by the use of a research paradigm that is unable to manage those situated issues embodied in decision making processes. This research addresses this limitation by developing a simulated environment that enable researchers to strictly follow Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM) (Lipshitz et al. 2001) guidelines: this paradigm provides a founded ground for researchers to study decision making in simulated environment (Elliott et al 2007), focusing more on decision situated processes than on the result of decision making. The present research involved three different steps: a preliminary study, aimed to investigate the first analysis of the situation and based on qualitative methods, followed by two studies, aimed two validate the simulated environment. All three studies took place in a Northern Italian middle-sized town. We decided to study house-renting decisions in a simulated web site. Participants in the preliminary study (N=14; F=7 M=7; Mean Age = 22.53) were told that University will give them a scholarship that can be used to rent a house they should choose among 5 houses from a web site. Each participant was asked to navigate through a website similar (for logo and colours) to the University website, where s/he could choose between the houses. Video and audio recorded sessions and interviews, that amount to 200 minutes of footage, where transcribed and analyzed through discourse analysis, in order to discover the interpretative repertoires (Wetherell & Potter, 1988; Edley, 2001) used by participants for their choice. We discovered 2 repertoires that were used to make choice: a repertoire that we called “Comfortableness” and a repertoire we called “Pleasantness”. First and second validation studies were aimed to validate, using a quantitative analysis, the descriptions and pictures of the houses presented in the website and also the data collection system embedded in the website. Participants (N=66; no gender data; no age data for the first validation. N=63; F= 41 M=22; Mean Age= 22.90 for the second validation) were asked to navigate in the website and judge the descriptions and the pictures of the house on two axis (comfortable - uncomfortable for the “Comfortableness” dimension and pleasant - unpleasant for the “Pleasantness” dimension). Anova results from the validation studies shows three categories of houses: highly comfortable, highly pleasant, and neutral. The results from the present research show some valuable guidelines in developing a simulated environment for decision making and a model of mixed (quantitative and qualitative) methodology. The research also brings to a simulated environment that at present is used to investigate interaction processes in decision making, involving two participants at a time and embedding quantitative and qualitative data collection systems, such as navigation time and clicks.

Developing a simulated environment to study naturalistic decision making processes.

COTTONE, PAOLO FRANCESCO
2008

Abstract

The present research focuses on the definition of a procedure that can be used to develop a simulation to study decision making processes in everyday situations. More specifically the simulated environment should enable researchers to find the role of gender in decision making processes. Despite gender is a topic investigated in many researches - in fact a large number of papers covering different contexts can be easily found, from professional and organisational to economic field - it is also one of the most vexed question. The economic field appears to the one that shows the most different and conflicting findings (Sproles & Kendall 1986; Walsh et al. 2001). One of the limitations of many researches in economical decision making could depend by the use of a research paradigm that is unable to manage those situated issues embodied in decision making processes. This research addresses this limitation by developing a simulated environment that enable researchers to strictly follow Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM) (Lipshitz et al. 2001) guidelines: this paradigm provides a founded ground for researchers to study decision making in simulated environment (Elliott et al 2007), focusing more on decision situated processes than on the result of decision making. The present research involved three different steps: a preliminary study, aimed to investigate the first analysis of the situation and based on qualitative methods, followed by two studies, aimed two validate the simulated environment. All three studies took place in a Northern Italian middle-sized town. We decided to study house-renting decisions in a simulated web site. Participants in the preliminary study (N=14; F=7 M=7; Mean Age = 22.53) were told that University will give them a scholarship that can be used to rent a house they should choose among 5 houses from a web site. Each participant was asked to navigate through a website similar (for logo and colours) to the University website, where s/he could choose between the houses. Video and audio recorded sessions and interviews, that amount to 200 minutes of footage, where transcribed and analyzed through discourse analysis, in order to discover the interpretative repertoires (Wetherell & Potter, 1988; Edley, 2001) used by participants for their choice. We discovered 2 repertoires that were used to make choice: a repertoire that we called “Comfortableness” and a repertoire we called “Pleasantness”. First and second validation studies were aimed to validate, using a quantitative analysis, the descriptions and pictures of the houses presented in the website and also the data collection system embedded in the website. Participants (N=66; no gender data; no age data for the first validation. N=63; F= 41 M=22; Mean Age= 22.90 for the second validation) were asked to navigate in the website and judge the descriptions and the pictures of the house on two axis (comfortable - uncomfortable for the “Comfortableness” dimension and pleasant - unpleasant for the “Pleasantness” dimension). Anova results from the validation studies shows three categories of houses: highly comfortable, highly pleasant, and neutral. The results from the present research show some valuable guidelines in developing a simulated environment for decision making and a model of mixed (quantitative and qualitative) methodology. The research also brings to a simulated environment that at present is used to investigate interaction processes in decision making, involving two participants at a time and embedding quantitative and qualitative data collection systems, such as navigation time and clicks.
ICERI 2008
9788461250912
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2272536
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