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My research area is human decision making in the context of safety. A main finding in this field is that human decision making skills are far from optimal. Most of our decisions are made intuitively, based on incomplete knowledge, and with limited reflection. Despite these insights however, decision makers themselves are generally quite confident about the accuracy of their decisions.
In complex environments decisions are often not made individually, but in groups. In dealing with a crisis or in fighting organized crime, for example, several organizations need to make decisions collaboratively. Collaborative decision making is even more complex, as different goals, interests and knowledge need to be taken into account. Even though collaborations have the potential to lead to better decisions, this potential is often underused.
My ambition is to increase our understanding of mechanisms underlying human decision making, to make professionals and citizens more aware of decision biases and to increase accuracy through innovative decision support and technology. I specifically focus on collaboration in fighting organized crime and crisis management and on how decision making is affected by artificial intelligence. As such this ambition concurs with the TNO goal to increase societal safety.
Three PhD students I supervised defended their thesis: Marije Bakker on crisis communication (2018), Jori Kalkman on civil-military cooperation (2019) and Wendy Schreurs on citizen participation in the police domain (2019).
In the context of the TNO program ‘Ondermijningslab’ we designed a toolkit to support multi-party decision making to fight organized crime (parties such as municipality, RIEC, tax authorities, police and prosecution).
In the future, human collaborators will more often be replaced by artificial intelligence. We designed a Virtual Reality environment to investigate how such a collaboration affects trust and how this trust can be repaired after a violation.
In a research program on crisis management, together with IFV and safety regions, we develop innovative tools to support crisis professionals in assessing the situation, generate options and make decisions. These tools can be used in either the preparation or the response phase of a crisis.