Understanding optimal decision-making
Critz, John W.
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The military has realized that their most valuable and adaptable assets are its leaders. Understanding optimal decision-making will allow the military to more effectively train its leaders. The Cognitive Alignment with Performance Targeted Training Intervention Model (CAPTTIM) was developed to aid the training of optimal decision making. CAPTTIM determines when decision performance (categorized as near-optimal or suboptimal) is aligned or misaligned with cognitive state (categorized as exploration or exploitation): when someone thinks they have figured out the task (exploitation cognitive state), is their decision performance actually near optimal? Prior research categorized subjects’ cognitive states as exploration or exploitation, but the delineation of decision performance had yet been done. The primary focus of this thesis was to use pre-collected and de-identified data to (1) determine and validate a threshold that delineated near-optimal and suboptimal decision performance with the metric, regret, and (2) categorize the combination of cognitive state and decision performance into CAPTTIM on a trial-by-trial basis. A change point analysis of regret provided an effective threshold delineation of decision performance across all subjects. Visualization techniques were employed to categorize decision and cognitive state data into CAPTTIM on a trial-by-trial basis. Thus, CAPTTIM was validated as a means of understanding decision-making.
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