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Decision Making in ActionThe importance of decision-making to safety in complex, dynamic environments like mission control centers and offshore installations has been well established. NASA-ARC has a program of research dedicated to fostering safe and effective decision-making in the manned spaceflight environment. Because access to spaceflight is limited, environments with similar characteristics, including aviation and nuclear power plants, serve as analogs from which space-relevant data can be gathered and theories developed. Analyses of aviation accidents cite crew judgement and decision making as causes or contributing factors in over half of all accidents. A similar observation has been made in nuclear power plants. Yet laboratory research on decision making has not proven especially helpful in improving the quality of decisions in these kinds of environments. One reason is that the traditional, analytic decision models are inappropriate to multidimensional, high-risk environments, and do not accurately describe what expert human decision makers do when they make decisions that have consequences. A new model of dynamic, naturalistic decision making is offered that may prove useful for improving decision making in complex, isolated, confined and high-risk environments. Based on analyses of crew performance in full-mission simulators and accident reports, features that define effective decision strategies in abnormal or emergency situations have been identified. These include accurate situation assessment (including time and risk assessment), appreciation of the complexity of the problem, sensitivity to constraints on the decision, timeliness of the response, and use of adequate information. More effective crews also manage their workload to provide themselves with time and resources to make good decisions. In brief, good decisions are appropriate to the demands of the situation. Effective crew decision making and overall performance are mediated by crew communication. Communication contributes to performance because it assures that all crew members have essential information, but it also regulates and coordinates crew actions and is the medium of collective thinking in response to a problem. This presentation will examine the relations between leadership, communication, decision making and overall crew performance. Implications of these findings for spaceflight and training for offshore installations will be discussed.
Document ID
20010121490
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Orasanu, Judith (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Statler, Irving C.
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Subject Category
Administration and Management
Meeting Information
Third Offshore Installation Management Conference(Aberdeen)
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 199-06-12-04
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.