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Issue Date: 5-May-2017
Authors: Sapienza, Alessandro
Title: Modelling the mind: studying the decisional processes by the means of trust on information sources
Abstract: In every moment, the events that happen in our life put us in the condition to make a decision. Maybe this decision could refer to a not so much relevant task, so that it is relatively easy to decide, probably because each possible choice has not a great impact on our life: we are not going to take a risk (or there is a low level of risk), there is not a heavy possible lose that threatens us. But there can be situations in which the choice we take can seriously have a great impact, and then require a bigger cognitive effort. Sometimes we have to take into account a risk factor; there could be the possibility to lose material goods or even to compromise our health itself. What to do in these risky situations? As it is easy to understand, in these situations the decisional process becomes heavier; identifying a correct choice or at least the best one is a critical task. In order to make a decision, it is necessary a proper quantity of knowledge. The first thing to do is quite obvious: we try to use the knowledge we already have, using the one that represents our basic beliefs, the knowledge that we have about the world in which we live. It has been built and consolidated in time and it is available each time we need it. However, in many case our own knowledge is not enough for the task that we have to face in the real world. For instance we could have the necessity to make a decision in a context in which we are not competent, or maybe we do not have the possibility to evaluate properly the situation. Maybe we could find our self in a dynamic system, in which it is not so easy to make a forecast of how it will change. Therefore in many situations that occur in our daily life it is necessary to ask someone/something else, to use knowledge that comes from external sources. However when we try to use information coming from an external source, we get into some complicated dynamic: it rises up some problems that it is necessary to face. In this study we intend to understand which are the methodologies that allow using effectively external information sources for our internal decisional processes, with the aim of identifying a choice between a series of alternatives. In particular, we propose the use of the concept of trust applied to the information sources. In order to do so, we first developed a theory about trust on information sources, starting from the classical model of trust already proposed in literature. The one of trust is the key concept that allows us to use information sources. Thanks to it, we are able to consider differently each source, understanding which are more trustworthy and then can be taken into account while reasoning and those which are not enough trustworthy that has to be treated differently (at least, they must have a lighter weight). Then trust becomes a weight to use towards information sources. Then, by the means of simulative technologies we studied the practical aspect of this theory, applying these computational models to practical context. This allowed us to identify some interesting aspect both from the theoretical level and the practical level.
Appears in Collections:Area 01 - Scienze matematiche e informatiche

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