The plausibility transition model for sensemaking

Posted on 2023-05-26 - 11:59

When people make plausibility judgments about an assertion, an event, or a piece of evidence, they are gauging whether it makes sense that the event could transpire as it did. Therefore, we can treat plausibility judgments as a part of sensemaking. In this paper, we review the research literature, presenting the different ways that plausibility has been defined and measured. Then we describe the naturalistic research that allowed us to model how plausibility judgments are engaged during the sensemaking process. The model is based on an analysis of 23 cases in which people tried to make sense of complex situations. The model describes the user’s attempts to construct a narrative as a state transition string, relying on plausibility judgments for each transition point. The model has implications for measurement and for training.


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