An Experimental Application of a Trait-Based Personality Model to the Simulation of Military Decision-Making

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 12, Issue 1, p.75-92 (2003)


Computer generated forces, personality modeling.


Personality is a significant influence on human behavior. In the context of military decision-making, different military commanders may behave differently when faced with the similar circumstances, depending on their personalities. Moreover, personality may cause the same commander to react differently to similar situations encountered at different times. The effect of personality on decision-making behavior is intrinsically complex and is further mediated by such factors as stress and situational context. This research investigates the inclusion of personality in models of military command decision-making. A simulation was implemented wherein a simulated commander must make critical decisions under multiple pressu-res. The commander’s human behavior model allows the specification of personality using a set of personality traits. In general, personality traits determine a person’s predisposition to exhibit a particular behavior under varying situational conditions. In this research, the commander’s personality traits and the situational conditions were combined to produce effects such as reaction time delay and decision accuracy and effectiveness modifications. The research showed that incorporating trait-based personality models of human behavior into simulations is feasible and can produce realistic effects on the decision-making of a simulated commander. It also revealed opportunities for further development of the approach.