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Criteria for assessing problem solving and decision making in complex environmentsTraining crews to cope with unanticipated problems in high-risk, high-stress environments requires models of effective problem solving and decision making. Existing decision theories use the criteria of logical consistency and mathematical optimality to evaluate decision quality. While these approaches are useful under some circumstances, the assumptions underlying these models frequently are not met in dynamic time-pressured operational environments. Also, applying formal decision models is both labor and time intensive, a luxury often lacking in operational environments. Alternate approaches and criteria are needed. Given that operational problem solving and decision making are embedded in ongoing tasks, evaluation criteria must address the relation between those activities and satisfaction of broader task goals. Effectiveness and efficiency become relevant for judging reasoning performance in operational environments. New questions must be addressed: What is the relation between the quality of decisions and overall performance by crews engaged in critical high risk tasks? Are different strategies most effective for different types of decisions? How can various decision types be characterized? A preliminary model of decision types found in air transport environments will be described along with a preliminary performance model based on an analysis of 30 flight crews. The performance analysis examined behaviors that distinguish more and less effective crews (based on performance errors). Implications for training and system design will be discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Orasanu, Judith (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, Sixth Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1992), Volume 2
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Related Records

IDRelationTitle19940007055Analytic PrimarySixth Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1992), volume 2