June 19, 2023
William Sealy successfully defends his dissertation entitled ‘UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORTING DECISION MAKING IN DENIED AND DEGRADED ENVIRONMENTS’.
Summary: Decision making is not guaranteed to occur in well-structured environments with per- fect information. Tasks in the research most often focus on decisions made with complete information in an unlimited time-frame, and in cases where information is missing or un- certain, the current research stops short of addressing the effect of the distribution of the missing information in the environment. This dissertation seeks specifically to understand how these distributions of information affect decision makers under time pressure, and how best to support decision making in imperfect environments across a range of decision strate- gies. The contributions of the work are threefold. First, results showed that three studied factors of information distributions (namely Total Information, Complete Attribute Pairs, and Information Imbalance) were significant predictors of decision accuracy in six separate human subject studies featuring varying information complexity and decision strategy bi- ases. Second, this dissertation has highlighted key differences in expert and novice behavior through the lens of information estimation and predecisional information search which fur- ther explained individual differences in performance under uncertainty and provided novel design considerations for decision support systems (DSS) in these environments. Finally, the application of both information modification and option prediction DSS showed signif- icant increases in accuracy and reduction in response times across performance groups in both heuristic and analytically-biased environments.
Congrats Dr. Sealy!