Abstract for:The Lake Urmia Vignette: A Tool to Assess Understanding Complexity in Socio-Environmental Systems
We introduce the Lake Urmia Vignette (LUV) as an assessment tool of individuals’ understanding of complexity in socio-environmental systems. Based on a real-world case, LUV includes a short text (vignette) describing an environmental catastrophe involving a lake. Over a few decades, important issues have manifested themselves due to various social, political, economic, organizational and environmental factors. We designed and implemented a rubric for coding responses to assess individuals’ answers to a prompt. We further gathered and analyzed data from a study of engineering graduate students. We compared participants’ responses to LUV with other measures, including a stock-flow task and several self-reported surveys of systems thinking and critical thinking from the literature. Researchers can use LUV as an assessment tool of individuals’ understanding of complexity in socio-environmental systems.