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Excellence in Public and Professional Decision Making: Boosting Deliberate Practice and Handling Biases through Immersive Cognitive and Emotional Reinforcement Strategies and Tools (xDELIA)
Start date: Mar 1, 2009, End date: May 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The xDELIA project is designed to investigate a number of contexts where technology enhanced learning is expected to improve the quality of financial decision making. xDelia pursues two major and closely linked objectives. The first is to provide a number of discrete learning interventions, which can be delivered either through a web-based trading platform or in a day-trading facility, to enhance the quality of financial decision-making by private investors trading on their own account. Within that overall objective, the principal goal is to address issues of emotional regulation in financial decision making. In common with many other areas where technology has been used to assist learning, financial training has largely focused on imparting propositional knowledge and increasing people's intellectual understanding. However, our work to date has shown that despite investors having considerable appropriate knowledge, their actions can still be ruled by their attitudes, habits, or emotional states. Emotions not only mediate rapid expert situation recognition and the application of expert intuition, but they also give rise to important persistent biases in decision-making through framing effects and the disposition effect in particular. Game based technologies are becoming proven as a method of learning, particularly as they can place people in virtual situations. In the context of financial decision making, xDelia will use serious games to analyse and train behavioural patterns and to support the non-formal and informal learning process. The project will produce learning interventions which employ physiological sensors alongside serious games. Wearable sensor equipment will help build a picture of a person's emotional state. Data collected via sensors in both game play and during actual trading will be analysed alongside real time event logging, diaries and past trading data. The validity and effectiveness of the interventions will be tested and further developed through a series of trials, including 'live' testing with private investors. Because of the problems of transfer of skills learned into actual practice and the need to support the development of expertise over extended periods, learning interventions developed by the project cannot rely solely on learning games. We have therefore developed an approach combining games, sensor feedback, and didactic materials with a structured, diary based approach to reflection on practice in order to support transfer of learning into the 'real-world' practice setting.By investigating this phenomenon and tackling directly the challenges faced by investors, the project will demonstrate the potential to achieve improvements in emotion regulation processes through innovative, technologically supported approaches using a combination of physiological sensors, emotion regulation training , and serious games in a real-world setting.

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