Accession Number : ADA138053

Title :   The Role of Causal Explanation in Outcome Generation.

Descriptive Note : Interim rept.,


Personal Author(s) : Pliske,R M ; Gettys,C F

PDF Url : ADA138053

Report Date : 02 Aug 1983

Pagination or Media Count : 41

Abstract : It is assumed that Decision makers generate possible outcomes for action by creating a mental model, i.e., a causal schemata which represent the decision maker's model of the way the world works. Some causative factors are seen as relevant, and others are seen as irrelevant. Those relevant causal factors that are included in the mental model form a causal field, and the causal field determines to a large extent the outcomes that are generated. Therefore, when the decision maker first attempts to generate outcomes for an act, a causal field is created, and this causal field may persist throughout the outcome generation task. The persistence of the causal field in the decision maker's thinking may make it difficult to create other, alternate mental models which might enable the decision maker to anticipate other outcomes for that act. The present investigation examines the persistence of initial causal fields, and the cognitive mechanisms that may be responsible for this persistence. In the first study of this series, subjects were asked to explain one of several outcomes selected by the experimenter thus defining a causal field. Then they made predictions about the future outcome of the decision problem, identified factors in the causal field, generated alternate outcomes and estimated their likelihood, and made judgments about what factors would be important in determining the future. A second study explored why the causal field persists.

Descriptors :   *Psychology, *Decision making, *Judgement(Psychology), *Perception(Psychology), *Mental ability, *Jobs, Problem solving, Performance(Human), Interpersonal relations, Motivation, Human factors engineering, Psychomotor function, Models

Subject Categories : Psychology
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE