An essential element of any assessment center is the observation of behavior in simulation exercises. Simulation exercises are situations that present participants with complex stimuli and call for complex behavioral responses. The complex stimuli may include any of the following:

financial, demographic, and community data available to a bank executive considering a new branch in a suburb;

a set of personnel problems including alleged safety violations, absenteeism, and thievery being reviewed by a disciplinary committee; or

a set of letters, emails, and memos in a manager’s in-box.