The purpose of this lecture is to provide a general analysis of current research trends on cognition, integrative complexity, and decision making. Therefore, a synthesis using the Activity Theory (AT) Framework is conducted to analyze research on cognition, integrative complexity, and decision making as an activity. Papers from 2012 to this date are scrutinized for synthesis and divided into six categories of AT; a) subjects (participants and samples), b) objects (topics, themes, and academic subjects), c) rules (methods and techniques) d) community (fields and practitioners), e) division of labor (procedures, instruments, and measures) and f) outcomes (primary findings and conclusions). This study provides useful information on the six components scrutinized and identified a deep relation between decision making outcomes and integrative complexity as a cognitive feature in different environments such as organization, politics, and psychology or medicine. Also, some gaps are still prevalent in these research endeavors such as the nature of integrative complexity as a state or trait, the conflict of integrative complexity measurement (automated vs. manual coding), or the differentiation of integrative complexity from other cognitive features like intelligence, attention, or memory. Finally, the study concluded that future research on cognition, integrative complexity, and decision making should address these gaps and postulate a more specific categorization of integrative complexity in research and present some pilot study experiences to share with the community.
Isaac Molina Pérez (Ph.D. Facultad de Psicología-UNAM) is assistant research professor at the School of Government and Public Transformation of Tecnológico de Monterrey. His work focuses on the research of cognition, interpersonal interaction, and social construction in decision making processes. He currently leads research programs in interaction with governmental and non-governmental institutions about security, gender, and basic research on the neurological principles of decision making. He is an expert in ecological validity in experimental designs using qualitative, quantitative, and mixed models, and has broad experience on vulnerable and complex subjects (i.e. homeless population, rural teachers, sexual abuse victims). He teaches courses on sexuality, social psychology, diversity, and technological change.
Edmundo Molina-Pérez (Ph.D. Pardee RAND Graduate School ) is assistant research professor at the School of Government and Public Transformation of Tecnológico de Monterrey. His work focuses on the development of new computational methods for studying decision-making under uncertainty and complexity. He currently leads applied research work on Mexico’s water and energy sectors, developing new simulation models and assisting stakeholders in decision making processes. He also leads the Decision Making Center of the School of Government and Public Transformation and co-leads applied policy research on climate change in Costa Rica, Argentina and Chile. He teaches courses on systems modeling, advanced simulation techniques, econometrics, microeconomics and machine learning.