Situation Awareness and the Cognitive Management of Complex Systems
This chapter explores the psychological components of situation awareness (SA) in hopes of encouraging better analysis, experimentation, and modeling of the knowledge and processes that support this important construct. It reviews the meaning of the term situation awareness both definitionally and by way of examples. The chapter discusses the cognitive factors involved in achieving and maintaining situation awareness, drawing on cognitive theory to clarify their interactions. It also discusses strengths and weaknesses of various empirical approaches that might be used toward that end. The chapter focuses on an analytic understanding of the cognitive and perceptual dynamics of SA. It explains three categories: on-line indices of SA, indirect probes of SA, and model-based approaches to understanding SA. The chapter also presents an example of how strategies for assessing SA can be used in combination to evaluate the effect of proposed cockpit aids on flight management.