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Technical support in collaborative decision making: an explorative study

Oberhagemann, M. (2017) Technical support in collaborative decision making: an explorative study.

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Abstract:Supporting the structure and communication of collaborative decision making discussions can lead to more efficient discussions and better decisions. Such a support could be realized by technological support systems. However, the use of technology during discussions could also have disadvantages, such as overburdening the cognitive capacities of group members. The goal of this research is to investigate possible effects of technical support for collaborative decision making. Possible advantages and disadvantages such a tool could have during collaborative design discussions are investigated regarding the focus on the topic, consciousness about communicational aspects, structure and flow of the discussion and cognitive load. During the experiment, four groups tested an app as a prototype for a technical support tool. The experiment was set up in a two-by-two design, with each group having one discussion with and one discussion without the app. After the sessions the participants were asked to answer questions about the aforementioned aspects. The discussions with the app was reported to be more structured and the participants were more conscious about the communicational aspects during those discussions, which resulted in a more efficient discussion and better decisions. However, the flow of the discussions was disrupted by the app and a high cognitive load during the sessions with the app was reported. The app does seem to have a beneficial effect on the discussion. However, regarding the negative aspects found, further research is recommended to see whether the positive effects would exceed the negative ones in an actual implementation.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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