Mental Models for Expert Judgement Support

Barry G. Silverman

Professional judgment is prone to bias (systematic error patterns that recur under like situations). We describe a two phase effort to develop general guidance on how to use knowledge based systems to debias human judgment. We hope to merge the 'mental model' approaches of Johnson-Laird and Klar (focalizing-linking) and to verify that this merger explains the processes underlying judgment in numerous logical, statistical, and causal reasoning tasks. This effort will collect and analyze empirical research results to test our hypothesis that "expert critiquing systems can reduce users’ judgment biases, but the degree of improvement will be sensitive to the critic’s interactivity (situated, individualized) and mental model (not formal method) teachings."

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