Faculty Directory

Contact Information

Office:
Salisbury Laboratories, 315
Phone: +1-508-831-5296
Fax: +1-508-831-5896
jpthomspon@wpi.edu

James P. Thompson

  • Adjunct Teaching Professor, 

My research interests comprise three principle areas:

  • How individuals learn to resolve dynamically complex problems
  • Economic behavior of patients, providers and payers in health care systems
  • 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 pharmaceuticals, managed health care, 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.

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

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

Education

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

Featured Publications

  • Thompson JP, Riley CM, Eberlein RL, Matchar DB. Future living arrangements of Singaporeans with age-related dementia.  Int Psychogeriatrics 2012 Sept 24:1592-1599
  • Setia M, Islam AM, Thompson JP, Matchar DB. Stakeholders’ perspective on issues and challenges associated with care and treatment of aging-related cognitive impairment disorders in Singapore. Int Psychogeriatrics 2011 Jun 20:1-12
  • Carrasco LR, Lee VJ, Chen MI, Matchar DB, Thompson JP, Cook AR. Strategies for antiviral stockpiling for future influenza pandemics: a global epidemic-economic perspective. J R Soc Interface 2011 8:1307-1313. 
  • Thompson JP, Cavaleri S. Dynamic knowledge, organizational growth, and sustainability: the case of Prestwick Memory Devices. Int. Studies of Mgt. & Org. 2010 40(3):50-60 
  • Thompson JP. Consulting Approaches with System Dynamics: Three Case Studies, System Dynamics Review, 1999 15 (1)71-95
 
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