Field experiment critique in CatchBob

Reading Lucy Suchman's "Plans and Situated Actions", I was wondering about the notion of "plan". In our experiment with CatchBob!, people tell use what they did during the game, explaining why they did this and that; how come they explored the campus in some areas, why did they communicated like this, etc. Somehow they explain us the plan they had. The most important critique here, based on Suchman's view is that fact that people do not really have plans; the plan is just a reconstruction of what they did a posteriori. Suchman argues that human beings don't really function using plans (i.e. a scripted behavior, explicating specific activities). Instead, she claims that the behavior is based on 'situated actions': "the view that every course of action depends in essential ways upon its material and social circumstances. Rather than attempting to abstract action away from its circumstances and represent it as a rational plan, the approach is to study how people use their circumstances to achieve intelligent action." (p. 50). What is important is the goal the users had in mind and which mean they use to achieve it.

In CatchBob, in terms of information input players used to achieve the goal, I found the following 'coordination keys' (would say Herbert Clark, a pragmatic linguists):

  • Knowledge about the partners (ce que Clark appel Common Ground initial)
  • Speech/Communication acts
    • Verbalisations: announcement, orders, questions, acknowledgement
    • Self-declared positioning/trajectory
  • Location awareness (+ signal)
  • Knowledge about the environment
    • Topology + Schelling Point (subset)
    • Representation of the wireless network
  • Grounded Plan (accepted by the group)

I use the player's verbalisations after the game to gather information about this.