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Simulation training 2- 'After-image'

As I pointed out in my previous blog, the experts can make intuitive judgments and decisions to solve problems and exercise their creativity. Gary Klein, a cognitive psychologist who initiated the Naturalistic Decision-making (NDM) movement in the late 1980s, found out the fact that the experts fully depend on mental simulation and pattern matching.

These two traits, mental simulation and pattern matching, are the essence of strong intuitive judgment and decision making. Recently, artificial intelligence (AI) have surpassed experts in some area. Nevertheless, AI developers cannot 'instill' these unique traits into AI through programming. AI depend on algorithmic and numerical evaluation such as statistics and probabilities. In short, quality of the expert's judgement and decision making is that of AI.

By the way, the typical question many people ask NDM researchers and practitioners (including myself) is this: 'How can I improve intuition?' For many years, we could not have answered this question because we researchers focused on basic studies on mechanism of intuition -the process of intuitive judgment and decision making. Without the understanding of basic mechanism, we thought we cannot develop effective training methods.

To build strong intuition, having much experience is prerequisite. Some people misunderstand cognitive training methods help the learner without experience improve intuition in a short period of time. Our training methods is for the practitioners who already have basic knowledge and skills and a few years of experience. The years of experience depends on the fields and jobs.

Generally speaking, the more people have experience the better their mental they improve their mental simulation and pattern-matching skills. If you are especially eager to improve mental simulation skill, the basic training method is 'After-image method'. Here is an example.

You can choose a photo, but simple one is highly recommended.

You find a picture in this blog article. There are some peaches in a bowl. Look at the picture for 10 to 15 seconds. Then, close your eyes. Envisage the picture and remember the details. Ask you some questions by yourself.

'How many peaches are there in the bowl?'

'Can you remember the color and shape of each peach?'

'Was the bowl made of wood or plastic?'

If you cannot remember the photo, that's fine. Open your eyes and check it. Again, you look at the picture for approximately 10 minutes and close your eyes. You will realize you can easily remember the details of the photo. When you can do this, choose more complicated pictures.

This 'After-image' training method will help you improve your observation skill as well as photo graphic memory. This method is the foundation of simulation training. When you practice simulation training, you will remember the details of dynamic targets, not static ones.


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