A technique whereby people play roles to understand or predict behavior. Roles have a strong influence on behavior (Armstrong 2001), including the forecasting behavior of decision makers. Role playing can be used to predict what will happen if conditions change or alternative strategies are considered. Armstrong (2001) has shown that forecasts from role playing are substantially more accurate than forecasts derived from expert opinions.

He also describes the role playing process, which consists of the following steps:


Role Instructions

Description of the Situation



Number of Sessions

When role playing is used is represent interactions among a small number of parties who are in conflict, it is referred to as simulated interaction.