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The evaluation of the decision making processes employed by cadet pilots following a short aeronautical decision-making training program.

By Wen-Chin Li and Don Harris


Many aeronautical decision-making (ADM) mnemonic-based methods exist. However, there is no empirical research that suggests that they are actually effective in improving decision-making. Klein (1993), in his study of naturalistic decision making suggested that the decision-making process centers around two processes; situation assessment to generate a plausible course of action and mental simulation to evaluate that course of action for risk management. In this study a short, ADM training course was constructed around two mnemonic methods, SHOR (Stimuli, Hypotheses, Options, and Response) and DESIDE (Detect, Estimate, Set safety objectives, Identify, Do, Evaluate). Forty-one pilots from the Republic of China Tactical Training Wing participated: half received a short ADM training course and half did not. After training, the procedural knowledge underpinning their Situation Assessment and Risk Management ability, two skills essential for successful decision-making, were evaluated using pencil and paper-based knowledge tests based upon several demanding tactical flight situations. These scenarios were designed to encompass the six basic types of decision making described by Orasanu (1993); go/no go decisions; recognition-primed decisions; response selection decisions; resource management decisions; non-diagnostic procedural decisions, and decisions requiring creative problem-solving. The results show gains attributable to the decision making training course in both situation assessment and risk management skills. The results strongly suggest that ADM is trainable and such a training course is effective in improving the bases of in-flight decision-making

Publisher: Federal Aviation Administration Academy
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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