specifically. This technique was evaluated based on its overall validity, simplicity, flexibility and its ability to effectively use unstructured data.
Argument mapping (AM) is an analytic modifier that can be used to examine the logic behind the development of a particular conclusion and/or hypothesis. The product of AM is a visual representation (typically a box-and-line diagram) of the reasons that support and oppose the claim. Constructing a visual depiction of a complex argument reduces the level of abstraction in evaluating a decision.
Provides Audit Trail
Breaks down prose arguments and visualizes arguments for decision makers.
Shows strengths and weaknesses of argument
Improves critical thinkingReduces cognitive bias and blindspots
Not estimative in nature.
The method does not explicitly seek out contradictory evidence.
The language specific to argument mapping is not uniform from scholar to scholar.
Dependent on the quality of presentation of original argumentThe technique does not consider the impact of deliberately deceptive information
* Must locate a central claim for a position (this is the conclusion of an argument)
--conclusion indicators include: therefore, thus, so, hence
* extrapolate true and logistical reasons and objections which support or refute the central claim.
--rewrite statements as individual sentences
--Reasons must answer the question: "How do we know that [insert claim] is true/warranted?"
* include all premises for reasons - leave nothing to be implied
--premise indicators include: since, because, for, given that
* With objections, list any possible refutations underneath the objection
* Form a 'warrant' - a statement that justifies the step from a reason to a claim
--warrants reveals an arguer's core implicit beliefs
--used to scrutinize the soundness of an argument
--used to accept or reject controversial arguments
*Use arrows to indicate which premises or co-premises support claims; or premises refute oppositions.
*indicate premises that need to be combined in order to support a conclusion, and premises that are each seperate reasons to believe a conclusion
*Use a color-coding scheme (if possible) to help visualize the arguments
--Supporting claims - green
--opposing claims - red--nuetral claims - gray or no color
We attempted to argument map a one page NY times editorial. The comments below were generated as a result of that exercise.
Argument mapping is difficult to synthesize from prose that is not written in a BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) format.
The ability to effectively argument map is too dependent on quality of the articles given.
People will disagree on structure of argument and levels of relevance of data.
Argument mapping is not appropriate to use to develop an analytic estimate, rather it can be best implemented as a modifier to validate an already determined estimate.
Argument mapping would be an excellent modifier to test the validity of a conclusion/forecast. Would be an excellent supplement to ACH - suggest conducting an ACH to find a claim that is most likely, then test that claim for validity using Argument Mapping. This will help to reduce cognitive blindspots and biases, as well as test the reasoning behind the conclusion.
Extrapolating the main claim of the argument was easier once all of the premises supporting it were laid out.
The original format of the 'argument" really matters when it come to the ease or difficulty of applying argument mapping to the text.