CONSCIOUS - Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology During Process Model Comprehension

Universität Ulm

Verteidigung der Dissertation, Michael Winter, Ort: Online, Datum: 29.07.2022, Zeit: 10:00 Uhr

The use of visual process models has turned out to be an effective instrument for organizations to impart information about organizational processes, documentations, and collaborations. Corresponding models allow determining specific process information (e.g., key performance indicators), thus facilitating the analysis, optimization, and automation of processes. In general, process models constitute fundamental artifacts for organizations across all industries and domains (e.g., logistics, healthcare, automotive engineering) and are - inter alia - crucial for organizational process execution, process performance, and knowledge exchange. On one hand, it needs to be ensured that process models are modeled correctly, on the other, the models need to be comprehensible for the involved target stakeholders (e.g., domain experts, business analysts).

Myriads of complex cognitive processes, as well as underlying neural mechanisms (e.g., perception), are influencing human cognition, thus affecting human behavior such as problem solving and decision making. Cognitive neuroscience and psychology are studying these processes to unravel new insights about the functions of human cognition when performing the tasks at hand (e.g., finding solutions to difficulties). In the context of process model comprehension, cognitive neuroscience and psychology entail auspicious prospects in order to advance our understanding of working with process models. In the past, a vast body of research emerged dealing with the study of factors that influence process model comprehension. However, there still exist many unresolved fundamental issues, which refer to the factors influencing human cognition during process model comprehension.

This Ph. D. thesis contributes the conceptual framework CONSCIOUS (COgNitive neuroSCIence and psychOlogy dUring procesS model comprehension), which deals with human cognition during process model comprehension. The thesis discusses how CONSCIOUS fosters process model comprehension, thus contributing substantially to the current body of knowledge. The framework relies on measurement methods as well as theories stemming from cognitive neuroscience and psychology. The thesis discusses results, experiences, and lessons learned in a number of studies, which utilize concepts from both disciplines while addressing human cognition to foster process model comprehension. CONSCIOUS intends to facilitate process model comprehension by providing rules, directives, and tool-supported user assistance. Factors that influence human cognition during process model comprehension are unraveled with CONSCIOUS to facilitate the creation of better comprehensible process models. Finally, CONSCIOUS may serve as a comprehensive compendium for related research initiatives.