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

Jones, Natalie A., Ross, Helen, Lynam, Timothy and Perez, Pascal (2014) Eliciting mental models: a comparison of interview procedures in the context of natural resource management. Ecology and Society, 19 1: 13.1-13.7. doi:10.5751/ES-06248-190113


Author Jones, Natalie A.
Ross, Helen
Lynam, Timothy
Perez, Pascal
Title Eliciting mental models: a comparison of interview procedures in the context of natural resource management
Journal name Ecology and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1708-3087
Publication date 2014-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5751/ES-06248-190113
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 19
Issue 1
Start page 13.1
End page 13.7
Total pages 7
Place of publication Waterloo, ON, Canada
Publisher Resilience Alliance Publications
Language eng
Formatted 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.
Keyword Drawing
Elicitation
Interview
Mental model
Method
Natural resource management
Oral
Transect
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2015 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 13 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 31 Mar 2014, 07:54:27 EST by Professor Helen Ross on behalf of School of Agriculture and Food Sciences