Abstract for: Tangible Stock/Flow Experiments -- Addressing Issues of Naturalistic Decision Making

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether stock/flow failures persist in naturalistic decision making environments. A tangible stock/flow experiment is used in this study, which asks participants to pour a certain amount of water into a glass through a funnel in an as short time as possible. Findings are that people on average do not perform better in a tangible stock/flow task than in a computerized or paper-based test of a comparable task. In addition, individual performance in the tangible task cannot be related to performance in a similar paper-pencil stock/flow task. An implication of this study is that naturalistic stock/flow tasks are as difficult for humans to control as more abstract tasks. Further research should address individual differences between the two modes of task (tangible vs. paper-based). A limitation of this study is the usage of one tangible stock/flow task only. The value of this paper lies in the combination of a standard test with a tangible experiment addressing the same cognitive capabilities.