placeholder image

Eliciting mental models: a comparison of interview procedures in the context of natural resource management

Journal Article


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • The sustainable management of natural resources largely depends on people’s conceptions of environmental systems

    and how they function. The mental model construct provides an appropriate means to explore the cognitive dimension of people’s

    interactions with such systems. Mental models are cognitive representations of external reality that people use as the basis for acting

    with and within the world around them. We aimed to improve the application of the mental model construct to the field of natural

    resource management, with an emphasis on creek, i.e., stream, systems, by exploring how certain elicitation procedures may affect the

    mental models expressed. One of the initial hurdles that must be overcome is to work out how to effectively elicit people’s mental models

    of complex, dynamic phenomena. By improving their understanding of mental model elicitation procedures, researchers can make

    better use of the mental model construct to further explore the cognitive and social dimensions of human–environment interactions.

    The procedures compared were oral interviews and a drawing task with oral commentary, conducted at either a creek location, where

    visual cues were available, or in the interviewee’s home. We found that the location of the interview had a greater effect on the expressed

    mental models than the interview task. The locations also evoked different emphases in the mental models: those elicited by a creek

    featured more concepts and were more specific, whereas those elicited at home were typically more generic and dense. The interview

    task was found to have minimal effect on the mental models expressed.

Authors


  •   Jones, Natalie A. (external author)
  •   Ross, Helen (external author)
  •   Lynam, Timothy (external author)
  •   Perez, Pascal

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Jones, N. A., Ross, H., Lynam, T. & Perez, P. (2014). Eliciting mental models: a comparison of interview procedures in the context of natural resource management. Ecology and Society: a journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability, 19 (1), 1-7.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1161&context=smartpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smartpapers/134

Number Of Pages


  • 6

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 7

Volume


  • 19

Issue


  • 1

Abstract


  • The sustainable management of natural resources largely depends on people’s conceptions of environmental systems

    and how they function. The mental model construct provides an appropriate means to explore the cognitive dimension of people’s

    interactions with such systems. Mental models are cognitive representations of external reality that people use as the basis for acting

    with and within the world around them. We aimed to improve the application of the mental model construct to the field of natural

    resource management, with an emphasis on creek, i.e., stream, systems, by exploring how certain elicitation procedures may affect the

    mental models expressed. One of the initial hurdles that must be overcome is to work out how to effectively elicit people’s mental models

    of complex, dynamic phenomena. By improving their understanding of mental model elicitation procedures, researchers can make

    better use of the mental model construct to further explore the cognitive and social dimensions of human–environment interactions.

    The procedures compared were oral interviews and a drawing task with oral commentary, conducted at either a creek location, where

    visual cues were available, or in the interviewee’s home. We found that the location of the interview had a greater effect on the expressed

    mental models than the interview task. The locations also evoked different emphases in the mental models: those elicited by a creek

    featured more concepts and were more specific, whereas those elicited at home were typically more generic and dense. The interview

    task was found to have minimal effect on the mental models expressed.

Authors


  •   Jones, Natalie A. (external author)
  •   Ross, Helen (external author)
  •   Lynam, Timothy (external author)
  •   Perez, Pascal

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Jones, N. A., Ross, H., Lynam, T. & Perez, P. (2014). Eliciting mental models: a comparison of interview procedures in the context of natural resource management. Ecology and Society: a journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability, 19 (1), 1-7.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1161&context=smartpapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smartpapers/134

Number Of Pages


  • 6

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 7

Volume


  • 19

Issue


  • 1