Panels details > panel 49

P49- Responsive simulation methods: bridging ontologies in practice through fictionalized experiences?

PANEL Organizers :

Bekker Marleen (, Dep. Public Administration and Political Science at Radboud University (Netherlands), Maastricht University, dep. Health Services Research (Netherlands)
• Mah Catherine (, Division of Community Health and Humanities at Memorial University (Canada), School of Public Health University of Toronto (Canada)


This practical workshop will explore the intersection between interpretive methodology and the use of practice simulations rooted in social learning theory. Can we learn about lived experiences through using simulation games to promote reflexive practice? Is this consistent with a phenomenological hermeneutics? Can we identify ontological and epistemological alignments and is there potential for cross-fertilization? In fields where prevailing realism and logics do not lend themselves naturally to reflexivity, such as in biomedically oriented public health, our research applying different fictionalized tools has demonstrated that there is a quality to the fictionalized experience that is appealing and “safe” for practitioners and can be used as a tool for bridging multiple ontologies. For example, vignettes can prompt reflexivity and present the possibility of a negotiated social -although possibly participants in a vignette-mediated discussion understand it as a cognitive “ideal”. Simulation games are multi-actor role plays combined with in-depth debriefing and group reflection afterwards. The “scripts” of the simulation appeal to authentic participant behaviour in daily practice in an intuitive way. Yet the interactions may lead to unexpected outcomes, uncovering hidden patterns of assumptions (structure) and coping (agency), presenting opportunities for group reflection and analysis which may ultimately lead to group enlightenment. The capacity of the game to reproduce “real world” interaction creates the conditions to reconstruct both participant and scientific understandings of the interplay between structure and agency and promote alternative kinds of action.

We engage participants in a brief simulated public health policymaking game in order to reflect on the multiple ontologies and underlying methodology afterwards. This dialogue serves to critically explore its potential for interpretive analysis as well as action research. A paper introducing the principles and cases of research by responsive simulation will be made available for participant preparation. 


Simulation games, policy games, double hermeneutics, action research



Faculty, E2.11

SESSION 1 : 09/07/15 : 16:00-17:30

Chair: Marleen Bekker (, Radboud University (The Netherlands)
Discussant: Catherine Mah (, Memorial University (Canada)

SESSION 2 : Simulation : 09/07/15 : 17:45-19h15

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