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Unformatted text preview: t ever forget
any perceived outcome. It is conceivable that, under conditions of perfect memory (nothing is
forgotten over time), the value of new information related to perceived outcomes decreases, since
one individual outcome is so small when compared with an accumulation of outcomes. On the
other hand, under conditions of no memory whatsoever (i.e., some kind of amnesia), the
information used to determine the level of decision threshold would be the immediate information
exclusively, creating a potentially unstable system (reactive only to current outcomes).
Depending on cultural and educational elements, it could be assumed that in general, the
government will have a larger accumulated memory of outcomes than the public will, since the
government most likely has institutional support for maintaining a database of perceived
outcomes and more resources than the public has for retrieving, analyzing, and using relevant
The memory of perceived outcomes also partially determines the perception of outcomes, since it
provides a path for identifying and interpreting outcomes over time. Loop L5p and L5g reveal
that the process of perception not only is a function of actual outcomes but also is influenced by
the existence of prior memory of outcomes. According to cognitive psychologists, a chunk of
memory is “a collection of elements that are strongly associated with one another but are weakly
associated with elements in other chunks” (Goldstein, 2005, p. 157). Memory of outcomes
provides chunks that allow retrieval of information and identification of new information, which
influence the type of outcomes that are perceived over time. This feedback loop (L5p and L5p)
creates a reinforcing pattern, since perceived outcomes feed memory, which, in turn, provides a
framework for further the identification of relevant information related to outcomes.
Perceived outcomes, over time, influence the level of expectations of outcomes through a process
identified in the sociological literature as normalization of deviance (Rasmussen, 1997; Sterman,
1994; Vaughan, 1996, 1998, 1999) and in the dynamic modeling literature as slidi...
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