Operator Trust in Human Socio-Cultural Behavior Models: The Design of a Tool for Reasoning about Information Propagation.

Carlson, E., Pfautz, J., and Koelle, D.

Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Applied Human Factors & Ergonomics (AHFE), Miami, FL, (2010).

Models of human socio-cultural behavior (HSCB) are often developed to aid decision makers or analysts by providing insight into current situations and/or by supporting simulations that reveal results of potential courses of action. However, in many cases, the operational users—the intended beneficiaries of sophisticated, complex HSCB models—exhibit a lack of trust in the models and the insights they might provide. This lack of trust can lead to a range of user behaviors from simply discounting models and model-based tools, to incorrectly interpreting model results, to over-reliance on models. In this paper, we discuss our experiences in the construction of tools to support reasoning about “influence operations,” military operations that aim to shape human behavior to achieve a particular objective (e.g., encouraging all eligible citizens to vote in an upcoming election) and the mechanisms we designed to establish user trust.

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