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Cultural Awareness and Negotiation Skills Training: Evaluation of a Prototype Semi-Immersive System
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ORLANDO FL
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The effectiveness of BiLAT, a game-based prototype for training negotiation skills in an Iraqi cultural setting, was assessed. The prototype aims to train deliberate preparation behaviors, trust-building and relationship-building strategies, and familiarity with relevant cultural expectations and norms. Training is supported by automated coaching during simulated negotiation meetings and interactive post-meeting recaps. Effectiveness was measured via scores on an independent situational judgment test, completed by Soldiers both before and after training. Each time it is administered, the test yields a single score indicating the degree to which an individuals answers concur with experts answers. The scores of Soldiers without prior negotiation experience increased significantly from pre-training to post-training. The scores of Soldiers with prior negotiation experience failed to increase however, their initial pre-training scores were already relatively high. The results suggest that a relatively short amount of training with BiLAT less than three hours was sufficient to increase the knowledge level of novice negotiators. It remains to be determined whether only novices can benefit from training with BiLAT, or whether more experienced Soldiers might also gain some benefit, with greater amounts of training. In general, Soldier response to the training experience was very positive, despite the fact that more than 50 of them said they played games rarely or never. These results are significant because they provide new evidence that game-based tools such as the BiLAT can be used within certain conditions to effectively train Soldiers.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE