K8. Decision making in complex systems: The role of values, cognition, emotions, and behaviours

The complex behaviour of environmental problems is driven by the collective outcomes of decisions made by individuals, groups, and communities. Decision making (intuitive and deliberative) is influenced by the implicit and explicit theories that people have about how the “world works” and “should work”, and the effects of their actions on the things they value. These theories are shaped and influenced by a wide range of personal (e.g. cognition, emotion, values and experience) and situational factors (e.g. media influence). Understanding our personal and shared theories (known as mental models, frames, and interpretations) is a challenging research area that brings together various fields, including: cognitive psychology, behavioural economics, neuro-science, social science, and decision science. This session aims to bring together theoretical, applied, and experimental research in the area of complex and dynamic decision making.

Possible topics include:

Theoretical advances on areas related to the role of mental models in advancing decision making, learning, communication, and negotiation in complex environmental issues;

Methodologies and applications to elicit, understand, and map mental models, values, and emotions;

The role of mental models in building models and decision support tools, starting from problem recognition to communication of results;

Use of decision making research to inform the design of communication and decision making aids (e.g. visualizations);

Theories, methods, and applications related to understanding and modelling environmentally responsible behaviours;

Experimental studies of evaluating the effects of models and decision support tools on mental models, emotions, and values;

Issues related to the gaps between theories-of-use and espoused theories, attitudes and behaviours.