This book describes the new perspective of naturalistic decision making. The point of departure is how people make decisions in complex, time-pressured, ambiguous, and changing environments. The purpose of this book is to present and elaborate on past models developed to explain this type of decision making. The central philosophy of the book is that classical decision theory has been unproductive since it is so heavily grounded in economics and mathematics. The contributors believe there is little to be learned from laboratory studies about how people actually handle difficult and interesting tasks; therefore, the book presents a critique of classical decision theory. The models of naturalistic decision making described by the contributors were derived to explain the behavior of firefighters, business people, jurors, nuclear power plant operators, and command-and-control officers. The models are unique in that they address the way people use experience to frame situations and adopt courses of action. The models explain the strengths of skilled decision makers. Naturalistic decision research requires the examination of field settings, and a section of the book covers methods for conducting meaningful research outside the laboratory. In addition, since his approach has applied value, the book covers issues of training and decision support systems.
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