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Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 An introduction to cognitive mapping
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 You may use this presentation in its entirety or selected slides from the presentation. However, if you use any of the slides (all or part of their contents) and (all or part) of the associated notes then you must acknowledge the source and copyright of the materials. It is illegal not to do so. The presentation “An introduction to cognitive mapping” and associated notes are copyright to Banxia Software Limited 1997-2001. Version 1.0 released December 2001. Version 1.1 released February 2001.
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Presentation overview What is a cognitive map? And why use them? Guidelines for building maps. Exercises. Applications.
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 What is a cognitive map? A visual representation of an individual’s or a group’s ideas. Ideas are linked on a causal basis. There is a hierarchy within the ideas. A cognitive map is “action orientated”. The map should be representative of the interviewee’s not the interviewer’s ideas and opinions.
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 What is a cognitive map?
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Why use maps? A picture rather than a list. A means of structuring (and drawing conclusions from) data. –in interviews, with groups, and managing large amounts of qualitative information from documents, published sources, business plans etc. A focus for discussion. Improve interviewing capability. –capture “deep knowledge” and experience.
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Guidelines for building maps Terminology –concepts (the short phrases representing ideas). –links (expressing the relationship between ideas, “may lead to”). –map (the total of all of the concepts - also referred to as “a model” or a portion of the overall map - depending on context). –emergent phrase and contrast (the two poles of an idea, a preference expressed as “rather than”).
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Guidelines for building maps Break down sentences in to distinct phrases, one idea per phrase. Use an imperative form, indicate the action. In any pair of ideas look for the cause and effect/ means and end. Build up a hierarchy (the specific leads to the generic). Watch out for goals (outcomes, ends in themselves). Capture the contrasting poles (“rather than”). Retain users original language as much as possible.
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Guidelines for building maps Getting started –frame the area/topic for the discussion. This does not go into the map but is the subject that you are talking about. –get the first five to ten ideas down on paper and then start putting in the links. –building on the ideas that you already have by using the map to guide the discussion. –for each idea ask about the outcomes (Why is this important? What are we/you trying to achieve?) and the supporting argument (What would make this happen? How would we/you make it happen?)
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Developing maps How? Why? Idea
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Structuring maps Goals Issues Options Actions “not-goals” “not-goals”
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Exercise 1 Map this text: I’m really fed up with travelling through this airport! "There were long queues at the X-ray machines. Passengers could miss their flights or the flights could be delayed by late passengers instead of the gate closing on time. Then we would all arrive at our destination late. And I think that there would be an increase in everyone’s total journey time, if we all had to allow an extra 30 minutes to get through the X-ray machines. This short of check shouldn't take more than 3 minutes, or even less if you think about it!" "We couldn’t spend time in the shopping mall either, or at least it was greatly reduced. My wife likes to spend time in the shopping mall, even if I’d rather she didn’t! There are loads of things that this could affect." "When I complained they just said that they haven’t got the staff - if they had they could operate more X-ray machines. But you can see how crowded it is in here, they would need to clear or find more space, rearrange the whole place to get more machines in."
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Sample map for exercise 1
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Exercise 2 Think of a topic that is “close to your heart” - it must be a “live”, “emotive issue” for you. Work in pairs, interview each other in turn. Frame a “starter question” - e.g. “How might I go about completing project X?” Interviewer - ask questions to help your interviewee tease out their ideas about the subject. Work “upwards” to surface to what they are trying to achieve (goals/ outcomes) and “downwards” to put in the supporting ideas (explanation) beneath ideas.
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Some applications Exploring causal relationships between ideas in the context of: problem structuring/ project definition strategy development stakeholder analysis risk management system dynamics model definition expert systems definition interviews –mapping interviews and mapping your thoughts about interviews in research and consultancy
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 Benefits of using mapping Inter-relationships and inter-dependencies are made explicit. The interviewee/ group is forced to question and debate the relationship between ideas and what their goals really are. The map provides a focus for discussion and debate. Lines of argument make the rational behind a person’s thinking clearer.
Version 1.1 Feb 2001© Banxia Software Ltd 1997-2001 An introduction to cognitive mapping
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