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Home  >  Volume 41

The Role of Cognitive Psychological Processes in Software Requirements Elicitation by Aziken G.O. and Egbokhare F.A. pp 351 – 358
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Studies have consistently reported failures associated with requirements definition  arising from poor communication between developers and users during software development projects. Software users have needs and expectations formulated in the form of mental models that are usually difficult to express.  Knowing the actual users of a software product and understanding  their needs therefore requires knowledge of the human context within which a system operates and cognitive processes of individuals. This is achieved by establishing effective channels of communication between users and developers based on shared cognitive representations of the application domain to obtain users cognitive needs. This study adapted cognitive  psychological  constructs to  assist users to express their ‘inner needs’ during the requirements elicitation activity of software development. The results showed that using a mediational event, users can be stimulated to produce useful mental models consistent with their needs in a proposed system. These mental models can be captured using  think- aloud protocol (a verbalization technique) and analyzed to represent users’  cognitive needs.

Keywords: Users, Software developers, cognitive needs, Cognitive Psychology, Think- Aloud  Protocol