Cognitive Continuum Theory: The Lens Model: Theories And Models

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Decision making theories and models largely derive from the fields of psychology and economics. The Lens Model (Brunswik, 1952) was a conceptual design, sparking a plethora of literature outlining subsequent models and theories on judgements and decision making. Brunswik set out that an individual uses fallible ‘cues’ from their environment while trying to be as empirically accurate as possible in making judgements. Hammond (1967), an architect of modern decision making theory built on this conceptual model with his Cognitive Continuum Theory (CCT), which looks at the combination of an individual’s cognitive ability and their use of situational ‘cues’ when making a decision (Hammond et al, 1967; & Hammond, 2000). CCT works on the notion that decision making is based on a certain systematic process: the analysis…show more content…
Within nursing literature it is widely recognised that there are two models of decision making: the information processing model (‘analytical model’); and the intuitive-humanist model (‘intuitive model’) (Banning, 2008). The analytical model supports a nurse basing a decision on examining rational logic whilst the intuitive model marks the move from notice to expert, with the expert able to rely on their experience to guide their actions, similar to Carper’s (1978) “ways of knowing”. However it is important to remember that intuition relies on a thought that a nurse may not recall outside of the moment, which questions the accuracy of solely using intuitive judgement. Many studies are reliant on participant recall and conclude that in reality nurses will often use a combination of reasoning patterns to arrive at a decision. The combination of reasoning patterns fits more into heuristics, where a complex decision can be simplified through the use of experiential knowledge (Benner et al, 1996). Nurses have been shown, in qualitative studies, to rely on heuristics in order to reach decisions quickly and efficiently (Cioffi et al, 2005; Simmons et