Abstract for: Simulation-enhanced descriptions of dynamic problems: Initial experimental results

System dynamics models are built to assist people in understanding and solving complex and dynamic problems. However, the actual outreach of the models is limited as there is still no effective way identified to present dynamic problems and the associated models to a broader audience. Experimental data as well as cognitive load theory suggest that learning about and performance in complex dynamic systems could be improved by enhancing problem descriptions with simulation elements facilitating interactive exploration of dynamic features of the problem. We replicate experiments by Moxnes (2004) on management of reindeer lichen winter pastures, extending the task instructions by an interactive applet featuring dynamics of non-linear growth rate of lichen. In contrast to previous observations when the subjects misperceived gravely the systemís dynamics at the outset, our results suggest that with the interactive applet the misperceptions of dynamics can be reduced already in the first trial.