Abstract for: The Dynamics of Diagnosing: Virtuous and Vicious Cycles in the Operating Room

We develop a formal model of dynamic problem solving motivated by an example of doctors handling a medical emergency. The model links interpretation and choice, usually separated in the sensemaking and decision making literatures. Three insights emerge: (1) dynamic problem solving includes acting, interpreting, and cultivating diagnoses; (2) dynamic feedback among these processes opens and closes windows of adaptive problem solving; and (3) reinforcing feedback processes, usually considered dysfunctional, are essential for adaptive problem solving.