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Naturalistic Decision Making

This term "naturalistic decision making" is used for a descriptive theory of "how humans really make decisions". The theory focuses on certain classes of real-world situations. The situations of special interest are ones where the stakes are high, the decision problems are ill structured, the conditions are stressful (e.g., time pressured), and the decision makers are highly experienced.

"This model assumes that how decisions actually are made in crisis situations is the way decisions should be made. In other words, if we observe how deciders decide, then that is how deciders in the future should decide. It assumes that a 'good enough' solution is generally acceptable, or that there is no requirement for a perfect or error-free decision. This model focuses on crisis situations where the requirement is for quick, correct action and assumes that there is not sufficient time for the laborious process of rationalistic decision-making. This model focuses on how the decider uses experience to make decisions. Perceiver recognizes the situation in terms of four features: 1) Expectancies, 2) Plausible goals, 3) Relevant cues, and 4) Typical action."

from Klein, G. A., Orasanu, J., Calderwood, R., & Zsambok, C. E. (Eds.). (1993). Decision making in action: Models and methods. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, ISBN 0-89391-794-X.
Zsambok, C. E., & Klein, G. (Eds.). (1997). Naturalistic decision making. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, ISBN 0-8058-1873-1.

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