Natural Decision Making

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Challenging situations such as fires on board, boardings, stowaways on board, etc. they are decision problems in natural environments where real experts in the sector make decisions in realistic contexts that have barely been studied in the already abundant literature on decision making. Naturalistic decision-making studies provide lavish data sets but often lack the necessary controls to isolate causal variables.

Problems of decision characterized by a structure not clearly defined, a context in which uncertainty has a dynamic character, whose goals can be changing throughout the decision process where there are relations between the actions that are taken and the feedback that is it derives from them, where the pressure of time is habitual, and the consequences of the decisions are usually of great transcendence.

Problems in which several decision-makers are involved, and specific organisational norms and goals have to be met. However, also, decision problems in which also the knowledge and experience of the decision makers play a fundamental role. We move in a context where workers are experts not because of their knowledge of the basics of decision analysis, but because of their knowledge of the instruments and sources of information relevant to the problem.

That is, decision making in natural environments is defined as a joint function of two equally important factors the characteristics of the task and the knowledge and experience that the subject has on it. Since they do not make the same mistakes in real situations as in laboratory tasks and, even, it seems that environmental factors prevent biased or inconsistent decisions from moving away from a relevant result.

One of the most critical findings that emerge from natural decision-making research is that experts in complex contexts rarely choose among a set of options. Instead, they use elements of the context to remember possible courses of action. Then, they evaluate the possible consequences of that action in the situation, often by mentally simulating the implications of an action. If the action seems to be successful, they will move forward. If not, they generate another alternative. Because in natural situations, decision-makers face a variety of options.

Naturalistic decision-making work highlights how the implicit choice model that underlies much of the decision-making work is not reflected in many real-world configurations of choice.

Working Memory Model

Working memory has replaced short-term memory. However, researchers have shown that instead of all the information that goes into single storage, there are several methods for diverse kinds of data.

Central Executive

An essential component of the model, responsible for supervising and coordinating the operation of slave systems and relating them to long-term memory Long Time Memory LTM. It additionally deals with cognitive duties such as mental mathematics and problem-solving.

Visuo-Spatial Scratchpad

The visuospatial sketch deals with visual and spatial information. Visual information refers to how things look. Keep a record of the objects as we move in our environment. As we move forward, our position concerning objects changes constantly and it is crucial that we can update this information. The drawing pad also displays and manipulates the visual and spatial information that is stored in long-term memory.

Phonological Loop

Role of working memory that settlements with verbal and written material, this consists of two parts:

  1. Phonological storage (speech perception) acts as an inner ear and maintains information in a speech-based form (i.e., spoken words) for 1-2 seconds. Spoken words enter the store directly. Written words must first become an articulatory code (spoken) before they can enter the phonological store.
  2. The process of articulatory control (speech production) acts as an internal voice that tests the information of the phonological store. Circulate the information around and around like a ribbon loop. As long as we continue repeating it, we can keep the information in working memory.

The articulatory control process also converts the written material into an articulatory code and transfers it to the phonological store.

Cognitive Information Processing

This model describes the sensory stimuli that enter sensory storage in the short term, where they are transformed so that the perceptual processes within the brain can reason. The processed stimuli are transferred to the working memory. Working memory is based on and interacts with long-term memory to develop our perception of the world and determine our response to these perceptions.


The information is perceived by the senses (eyes and ears) and is stored for the first time in sensory storage in the short term.


The perceptual processor takes the stored sensory information and tries to recognise the symbols it contains letters, words, phonemes, icons. Long-term memory, which stores the symbols that you know how to recognise, helps you get this recognition.

Decision and Response Selection

The cognitive processor takes the symbols recognised by the perceptual processor and makes judgments and settlements. The cognitive processor makes most of the work we examine as ‘thinking.’

Response Execution

The motor processor obtains an action from the cognitive processor and commands the muscles to execute it. Here is an implicit feedback loop: the effect of the action can be observed by your senses and used to correct movement in a continuous process.

The central characteristic of a processor is its cycle time. It is the time required to accept an entry and produce an exit.

Working Memory / Long-Term Memory

Attention is the gateway to the processing of information and memory. The information we attend enters the short-term or work memory, where we reason, solve problems, make decisions, etc. It is also where we consciously direct our memory that responses and actions are initiated.

In the short-term / work memory, we encode the information of the sensory registers to transfer it to the long-term memory. Recovery: the information stored in long-term memory is recovered through short-term memory for recovery and recognition.

Cite this paper

Natural Decision Making. (2021, Feb 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/natural-decision-making/

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