How to Use Ambiguity in Problem Framing for Enabling Divergent Thinking: Integrating Problem Structuring Methods and Concept-Knowledge Theory
Giordano, Raffaele; Pluchinotta, Irene; Zikos, Dimitrios; Krueger, Tobias; Tsoukiàs, Alexis (2020), How to Use Ambiguity in Problem Framing for Enabling Divergent Thinking: Integrating Problem Structuring Methods and Concept-Knowledge Theory, in White, Leroy; Kunc, Martin; Burger, Katharina; Malpass, Jonathan, Behavioral Operational Research, Springer International Publishing : Berlin Heidelberg, p. 93-117. 10.1007/978-3-030-25405-6_6
Book titleBehavioral Operational Research
Book authorWhite, Leroy; Kunc, Martin; Burger, Katharina; Malpass, Jonathan
Number of pages379
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National Water Research Institute
Laboratoire d'analyse et modélisation de systèmes pour l'aide à la décision [LAMSADE]
Abstract (EN)Collective behaviors and participatory models could be hampered by the presence of ambiguity that reflects the multiplicity of interpretations that different actors bring to a modeling exercise. Despite commonly overlooked in modeling, how ambiguity in subjective problem frames is embraced determines the quality of the participatory modeling process. This work describes an innovative approach based on the integration of Problem Structuring Methods, specifically Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM), and Concept-Knowledge (C-K) design theory, as a means to transform ambiguity from a barrier to an enabling factor of divergent thinking in participatory modeling. The integration of methods allows to identify and analyze ambiguity in problem framing, avoiding viewpoints’ polarization that hampers the development of collective behaviors. However, individualistic problem frames can still yield organized collective actions when these frames are sufficiently aligned. Often environmental policies fail because decision-makers are not aware of the misalignment and their decisions are based on wrong assumptions about the others’ problem frames. This work discusses the results of two case studies aimed to design environmental policies for groundwater protection in Kokkinochoria area (Republic of Cyprus) and Apulia Region (South-East Italy), demonstrating the potential of FCM and C-K theory integration in supporting divergent thinking in participatory modeling.
Subjects / KeywordsAmbiguity; modeling
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