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Salisbury Laboratories, 315
Phone: +1-508-831-5296
Fax: +1-508-831-5896

James P. Thompson

My research interests comprise three principle areas:

  • Economic behavior of patients, providers and payers in health care systems
  • How individuals learn to resolve dynamically complex problems
  • Hypothetical epidemiology of communicable diseases

As diverse as these interests appear, they frequently overlap. Individual common sense behavior is influenced by powerful forces in the health care system that often lead to undesirable systemic performance. Therefore, understanding how individuals learn and make their decisions helps to guide analyses of aggregate economic consequences.

My commercial consulting experience spans more than 20 years with clients in international government and commercial managed health care plans, pharmaceuticals, global economic development, federally-funded guarantee programs, electric utilities, chemicals and internet infrastructure. Each of these engagements can be viewed as an experiment in problem-solving and client learning. My dissertation draws on the consultative practice of system dynamics methodology, intervention analysis, and constructivist learning theory to explore consulting techniques, client approaches and model forms used to resolve real world managerial problems. In prior research, I have explored techniques that employ mathematical simulation models, qualitative approaches and microworld games to help clients learn, and my classroom-level research measures learning from closed-system simulations.

My work in Singapore focused on frailties associated with ageing and specifically to the care and treatment of individuals afflicted with age-related dementia. Dementia poses a myriad of problems that extend from the patient to the family and community making system dynamics methodology an excellent resource for insight. My work in Indonesia helped the president’s administration to understand the gap between demand for medical care and the capacity to service demands.

Overall, my research provides a foundation for the learners to develop insight into how real world systems work by re-presenting experiences in cogent and comprehensive logic.

Research Interests

  • Economic behavior of patients, providers and payers in health care systems
  • How individuals learn to resolve dynamically complex problems
  • Hypothetical epidemiology of communicable diseases


  • BBA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1968
  • PhD, University of Strathclyde, 2009

Featured Publications

  • Thompson, J., Malhotra, R., Love, S., Ostbye, T., Chan, A., & Matchar, D. (2014). Projecting the Number of Older Singaporeans with Activity of Daily Living Limitations Requiring Human Assistance Through 2030. Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, 43(1), 51-56.
  • Thompson, J. P., Riley, C. M., & Eberlein, R. L. (2014). Modelling for Insight: The Case of Dementia in Singapore. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 31(2), 227-235.
  • Ansah, J. P., Eberlein, R. L., Love, S. R., Bautista, M. A., Thompson, J. P., Malhotra, R., & Matchar, D. B. (2014). Implications of long-term care capacity response policies for an aging population: A simulation analysis. Health Policy, 116(1), 105-113.
  • Eberlein, R. L., & Thompson, J. P. (2013). Precise modeling of aging populations. System Dynamics Review, 29(2), 87-101.
  • Thompson, J. P., Riley, C. M., Eberlein, R. L., & Matchar, D. B. (2012). Future living arrangements of Singaporeans with age-related dementia. International Psychogeriatrics, 24(10), 1592-1599.
  • Setia, M., Islam, A. M., Thompson, J. P., & Matchar, D. B. (2011). Stakeholders’ perspective on issues and challenges associated with care and treatment of aging-related cognitive impairment disorders in Singapore. International Psychogeriatrics, 23(09), 1421-1432.
  • Carrasco, L. R., Lee, V. J., Chen, M. I., Matchar, D. B., Thompson, J. P., & Cook, A. R. (2011). Strategies for antiviral stockpiling for future influenza pandemics: a global epidemic-economic perspective. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 8(62), 1307-1313.
  • Thompson, J. P., & Cavaleri, S. (2010). Dynamic knowledge, organizational growth, and sustainability: The case of Prestwick Memory Devices. International Studies of Management & Organization, 40(3), 50-60.
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