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      Day Traders, Computers and the Trading Floor – Interactional Expertise?


      9th Bi-annual International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM9) (NDM)

      Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM9)

      23 - 26 June 2009

      Day trading, applied cognitive task analysis, interactional expertise

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          Motivation – Despite the intersection between naturalistic decision making (NDM) and the environments in which day traders operate, little research has applied NDM theory and methods to the study of day trading practices. Research approach – In-depth interviews using applied cognitive task analysis (ACTA) were conducted with eight UK-based day traders. Findings – Nine cognitively complex elements of expertise were identified, highlighting the inextricable link between day traders’ cognition, the trading floor in which they operate and computer technology with which they interact. Research limitations/Implications – Despite limitations associated with the generalisability of findings, it is hoped the research will demonstrate the utility of applying qualitative methods such as ACTA to the field of behavioural finance. Originality/Value – This work is original in its application of a ‘naturalistic’ mode of enquiry and macrocognitive theory to what has been coined a microcognitive domain. Take away message – ‘Interactional expertise’ is a useful concept for understanding day traders’ decision-making.

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          Applied cognitive task analysis (ACTA): a practitioner's toolkit for understanding cognitive task demands.

           L Militello,  R Hutton (1998)
          Cognitive task analysis (CTA) is a set of methods for identifying cognitive skills, or mental demands, needed to perform a task proficiently. The product of the task analysis can be used to inform the design of interfaces and training systems. However, CTA is resource intensive and has previously been of limited use to design practitioners. A streamlined method of CTA, Applied Cognitive Task Analysis (ACTA), is presented in this paper. ACTA consists of three interview methods that help the practitioner to extract information about the cognitive demands and skills required for a task. ACTA also allows the practitioner to represent this information in a format that will translate more directly into applied products, such as improved training scenarios or interface recommendations. This paper will describe the three methods, an evaluation study conducted to assess the usability and usefulness of the methods, and some directions for future research for making cognitive task analysis accessible to practitioners. ACTA techniques were found to be easy to use, flexible, and to provide clear output. The information and training materials developed based on ACTA interviews were found to be accurate and important for training purposes.

            Author and article information

            June 2009
            June 2009
            : 249-250
            London College of Communication

            University of the Arts London, UK
            Faculty of Management & Law

            University of Surrey, UK
            © Claire McAndrew et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. 9th Bi-annual International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM9), BCS London

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

            9th Bi-annual International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM9)
            BCS London
            23 - 26 June 2009
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM9)
            Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (journal page):
            Electronic Workshops in Computing


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