The effect of improved cognition on algorithm performance and evaluation is an exciting area of research. Virtual reality is becoming increasingly popular as a tool for interacting with data and steering the optimization process, rather than simply displaying results. Constantly evolving haptic technology allows people to directly interact with digital objects and data as they do in the real world using their sense of touch., Haptics is revolutionizing the way engineers interact with computers. Hitherto, designers and artists have used haptics to intuitively sculpt models using digital clay and doctors have trained on haptics based virtual surgical simulators Most applications however merely seek to make up for the lack of sense of touch and its effects. The current work investigates the application of the haptics loop for decision support activities in core engineering areas like design optimization and shop floor layout. The simulated annealing algorithm with an adaptive cooling schedule is used to solve the quadratic assignment problem for facility layout The results obtained are interpreted and tested using a combined haptic and graphic environment. The value added due to haptics in virtual reality environments is an open problem. Human factor experiments for a decision-making environment were conducted to measure the value added due to inclusion of haptics. After a comprehensive series of tests, a decision is made with regards to use of haptics for engineering and scientific applications.