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What is Diagnostic Information

Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Information that helps to understand why a particular consequence happened or did not happen.
Published in Chapter:
System Dynamics Based Technology for Decision Support
Hassan Qudrat-Ullah (York University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch581
Managers face problems that are increasingly complex and dynamic. Decision support systems (DSS) are designed to assist them make better decisions. However, the empirical evidence concerning the impact of DSS on improved decision making and learning in dynamic tasks is equivocal at best (Klabbers, 2003; Sharda, Steve, Barr, & McDonnell, 1988; Sterman, 2000; Todd & Benbasat, 1999). Over four decades of dynamic decision making; studies have resulted in a general conclusion on why people perform poorly in dynamic tasks. In dynamic tasks, where a number of decisions are required rather than a single decision, decisions are interdependent, and the decision-making environment changes as a result of the decisions or autonomously or both (Edwards, 1962), most often the poor performance is attributed to subjects’ misperceptions of feedback. That is, people perform poorly because they ignore time delays between their “actions and the consequences” (Sterman, 2000) and are insensitive to the feedback structure of the task system (Diehl & Sterman, 1995). Decision maker’s mental models about the task are often inadequate and flawed (Kerstholt & Raaijmakers, 1997; Romme, 2004). In this paper we argue that system dynamics based interactive learning environments (ILEs) could provide effective decision support for dynamic tasks by reducing the misperceptions of feedback.
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