SITUATION: I'm in the beginning throes (the research stage, really) of
designing a method for users to create conditional logic statements
for this and that -- basically, IF-THEN/condition-action stuff, such
as "If miles flown is greater than 50,000, then grant gold status."
QUESTION: Does anyone know of research that indicates whether people
tend to think of such statements or situations primarily in terms of
conditions (as in the example above) or instead in terms of actions
(e.g., "Grant gold status IF miles flown is greater than 50,000")? I'm
trying to determine whether to help people create actions first,
followed by a list of conditions that must be satisfied to support
those actions, or whether to follow what seems to be the more-common
UI strategy of having users create conditions first. I seem to
remember some mention of research along these lines from my old psych
days, maybe something from Johnson-Laird regarding mental models, but
I don't remember any details, and I don't have access to any psych
databases to find out (none that have helped, anyway).