Pilot Expertise, Judgment, Unexpected Events, Decision Making, In-Flight Simulation
Unexpected events, particularly those creating surprise, interrupt ongoing mental and behavioral processes, creating an increased potential for unwanted outcomes to the situation. Human reactions to unexpected events vary. One can hypothesize a number of reasons for this variation, including level of domain expertise, previous experience with similar events, emotional connotation, and the contextual surround of the event. Whereas interrupting ongoing activities and focusing attention temporarily on a surprising event may be a useful evolutionary response to a threatening situation, the same process may be maladaptive in today's highly dynamic world. The purpose of this study was to investigate how different aspects of expertise affected one's ability to detect and react to an unexpected event. It was hypothesized that there were two general types of expertise, domain expertise and judgment (Hammond, 2000), which influenced one's performance on dealing with an unexpected event. The goal of the research was to parse out the relative contribution of domain expertise, so the role of judgment could be revealed. The research questions for this study were: (a) Can we identify specific knowledges and skills which enhance one's ability to deal with unexpected events? (b) Are these skills "automatically" included in domain expertise? (c) How does domain expertise improve or deter one's reaction and response to unexpected events? (d) What role does judgment play in responding to surprise? The general hypothesis was that good judgment would influence the process of surprise at different stages and in different ways than would domain expertise. The conclusions from this research indicated that good judgment had a significant positive effect in helping pilots deal with unexpected events. This was most pronounced when domain expertise was low.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Kochan, Janeen, "The Role Of Domain Expertise And Judgment In Dealing With Unexpected Events" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 456.