Analog Devices to Develop Decision Skills
Small Business Information
10980 Poplar Ford Trail, Manassas, VA, 22110
Rex V. Brown
AbstractAdolescents make health, lifestyle and other decisions which can affect them and others over their entire lives. Research has found them often to be seriously misguided. A method exists to counter decision making deficiencies-personalized decision analysis (PDA)-but its acceptance outside a circle of technical experts has been limited due to requirements for dealing with numbers. We have been developing physical analog devices that use the logic of PDA without requiring the use of numbers, using instead a concrete, manipulative spatial representation. An earlier test of one such device, a balance beam that models certain decision problems, found that students preferred the analog device to a calculator for decision analysis training, and that students so trained performed better in a later test of intuitive ability to apply decision-analytic principles. Phase I will continue developing and testing the balance beam and develop at least one other device. The PIs, a decision analysis educator and an experimental psychologist, will be supported by a middle school teacher, a developmental psychologist and a minorities specialist. Phase II will complete development and testing in varied classroom contexts.
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