• Information seeking, use, and decision making

      Mishra, Jyoti L.; Allen, D.K.; Pearman, A.D. (2015-04)
      In this paper we explored three areas: decision making and information seeking, the relationship between information seeking and uncertainty, and the role of expertise in influencing information use. This was undertaken in the context of a qualitative study into decision making in the initial stages of emergency response to major incidents. The research took an interpretive approach in which activity theory is used as an analytical framework. The research provides further evidence that the context of the activity and individual differences influence the choice of decision mode and associated information behavior. We also established that information is often not used to resolve uncertainty in decision making and indeed information is often sought and used after the decision is made to justify the decision. Finally, we point to the significance of both expertise and confidence in understanding information behavior. The contribution of the research to existing theoretical frameworks is discussed and a modified version of Wilson's problem-solving model is proposed.
    • Understanding decision making during emergencies: a key contributor to resilience

      Mishra, Jyoti L.; Allen, D.K.; Pearman, A.D. (2015-11)
      The resilience of systems derives from many inputs, relating both to design and to operational planning. In the latter context the role and effective functioning of the ‘blue light’ emergency services is often critical. The judgements and decisions that have to be made are complex and time-constrained, often undertaken before all the critical information that might be wanted is available. Recent developments in decision research, notably the on-going dual process debate, suggest that the process of decision making adopted is often more complex than had previously been appreciated and strongly linked to both context and individual factors, notably expertise. In the light of such developments, this paper presents an empirical study of emergency responders working in realistic, non-laboratory conditions. It argues that recent moves to recognise the need to support, through the way in which information is provided, more intuitive as well as analytic modes of thinking in decision support are timely and that an important research agenda exists linking decision support design with a fuller understanding of exactly how individuals make their decisions in emergency conditions.