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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00194

Virtual human role players for studying social factors in organizational decision making

  • 1Human Research and Engineering Directorate, United States Army Research Laboratory, United States
  • 2Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California, United States

The cyber domain of military operations presents many challenges. A unique element is the social dynamic between cyber operators and their leadership because of the novel subject matter expertise involved in conducting technical cyber tasks, so there will be situations where senior leaders might have much less domain knowledge or no experience at all relative to the warfighters who report to them. Nonetheless, it will be important for junior cyber operators to convey convincing information relevant to a mission in order to persuade or influence a leader to make informed decisions. The power dynamic will make it difficult for the junior cyber operator to successfully influence a higher ranking leader. Here we present a perspective with a sketch for research paradigm(s) to study how different factors (normative vs informational social influence, degree of transparency, and perceived appropriateness of making suggestions) might interact with differential social power dynamics of individuals in cyber decision-making contexts. Finally, we contextualize this theoretical perspective for the research paradigms in viable training technologies.

Keywords: social influence, persuasion, virtual humans, emotion, training

Received: 23 Nov 2017; Accepted: 05 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Kirsi Helkala, Norwegian Defence University College, Norway

Reviewed by:

Martti Lehto, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Laura Georg, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway  

Copyright: © 2018 Khooshabeh and Lucas. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Pete Khooshabeh, PHD., United States Army Research Laboratory, Human Research and Engineering Directorate, Adelphi, United States, pkhoosh@berkeley.edu