Decision-making in-socio and in-situ: Facilitation in virtual worlds
Past research suggests that "situatedness", i.e. the context, as well as the social interaction that occurs within it, play an important role in cognitive processes such as learning and decision-making. Thus far, IT tools have been limited in the level and type of situatedness they facilitate. The advent of virtual worlds has changed this. Virtual worlds provide open, three-dimensional platforms for creating and designing real life-like spaces; they also allow for interaction between users in the form of "avatars" in that space. This research study focuses on virtual worlds as platforms for learning and decision-making. We propose a model that explains how individuals in a group learn and make decisions through a process that is influenced by the two unique characteristics of virtual worlds that enable situatedness: the facilitation for designing real life-like spaces, and the facilitation of rich many-to-many interactions. We draw on theories of situated cognition, social cognition, and flow to explicate the influence of these characteristics on the process of learning and decision-making. Data was collected by means of a quasi-experiment in Second Life (SL). Results from this study extend and validate the predictions of situated theories of decision-making within the context of a virtual world environment and suggest guidelines for practitioners who wish to use such environments to support organizational learning and decision-making. Perhaps the most compelling of these is to focus on maximizing the immersion of the individual in the activity by stimulating his or her perceptions of others and activity-related cues in the environment. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Decision Support Systems
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Goel, Junglas, I., Ives, B., & Johnson, N. (2012). Decision-making in-socio and in-situ: Facilitation in virtual worlds. Decision Support Systems, 52(2), 342–352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2011.09.001