Abstract for: Bathtub Dynamics revisited: Exploring the engineering domain

SF-failure, the inability of people to correctly determine the behavior of simple stock and flow structures is subject of a long research stream. Reasons for SF-failure can be attributed to different reasons, one of them being lacking domain specific experience and familiarity with the problem context. In this article we present a continuation of an experiment to examine the role of educational background in SF-performance. We base the question set on the Bathtub Dynamics tasks introduced by Booth Sweeney and Sterman (2000) and vary the cover stories. In this paper we describe how we developed and tested a new cover story for the engineering domain and implemented the recommendations from a prior study. We test three sets of questions with engineering students which enables us to compare the results to a previous study in which we tested the questions with business students. Results mainly support our hypothesis that context familiarity increases SF-performance. With our findings we further develop the methodology of the research on SF-failure.