Dealing with Difficulty. Tactics for Fluency in a Case of Complex Interdependence
32 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 14, 2015
Diversity has many benefits, but it brings difficulties that bring unease, tax cognition and heighten prediction-error. While cognitive science is increasingly consensual on the matter, there is little knowledge on how such costs are handled pragmatically in 'real world' interactions. This article presents a case study of urban development and roots it in supervening disciplines studying how people organize what goes on around them. Co-design by disparate, interdependent parties generated difficulty by disrupting routines of inference, representing and acting. It took two decades to decide the buildings' traits. We suggest pragmatic tactics used in non-routine cooperation serviceable to a cognitive need for fluency and coherence at low costs of attention. The typical actions found in response to difficulty included outsourcing to experts, imposing rules, and substituting make-believe. Sometimes difficulty was desired as a decoy and parties created confusion.
Keywords: interdependence; decision-making; case study; tactics
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